NEW YORK (BankingMyWay) -- It's taken more than six years, but the foreclosure market has slid back to pre-Great Recession levels, with foreclosure filings down by 26% in all of last year.
Expect that to continue, as the housing market seems resurgent in the new year.
In a Jan. 19 USA Today interview with Wells Fargo Chief Executive John Stumpf, the big banking boss offers an optimistic outlook for the entire housing market in 2014.
Stumpf calls for continued growth in homes values, along with a conga line of buyers waiving their checkbook at sellers.
"I think you are going to see increases in the value of homes by between 3% and 5% year over year," Stumpf said. "I think we will see a mortgage market that is largely dominated by purchase money. It would not surprise me if we were in a $1 trillion- to $2 trillion-mortgage marketplace."
If that occurs, nationwide home foreclosures should continue to fall.
That's because a healthier housing sector raises the value of virtually all homes, leaving more cash value in residential homes. In addition, a stronger jobs market puts more cash in the pockets of Americans, further reducing foreclosure pressure, while the market may have seen most of the problem home mortgages already fall off the market.
All of that adds up to an increasingly thinned out foreclosure sector, and a healthier housing market.
According to RealtyTrac, nationwide residential home foreclosures have fallen by 53% from the market peak in 2010, and the foreclosure level of 1.4 million total last year just about matches 2007s total, when 1.3 million foreclosures hit the market.