Foreclosures jump along Strand, but don’t panic

sjones@thesunnews.comNovember 15, 2013 

Foreclosures in Horry and Georgetown counties were up 36.55 percent and 29.41 percent, respectively, from September to October.

But don’t panic just yet, because the results are more the result of the foreclosure process in South Carolina than of the current state of the market.

South Carolina is one of 22 judicial foreclosure states, which means that foreclosures must proceed through the court system where in other states, the process can be handled administratively.

“Some that had been in the pipeline for a while likely are just getting out,” said Laura Crowther, CEO of the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors.

Indeed, foreclosures in judicial states can take from 480 to 700 days when accounting for all the factors, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association

It can take up to 180 days for a lender to try to work with a borrower in danger of foreclosure, a period that runs all the way from the time the first payment is missed to the day the owner is declared in default of his or her mortgage. Then, the association reports, there can be another 180 to 220 days for initiating the foreclosure process, filing the necessary paperwork, getting court approval to proceed with foreclosure and selling the property in a foreclosure sale. Finally, there is another 180 or more days for eviction and the resale of the property, if the new owner wants to resell it.

Crowther was surprised by the one-month foreclosure increase reported by RealtyTrac, which follows foreclosures nationwide, but guessed it may not involve a flood of homes. If it had, she said, she would have heard about it from Realtors.

That’s a good assessment. Foreclosures were down 16.46 percent and 12 percent, respectively, in Horry and Georgetown counties when compared with October 2012.

RealtyTrac’s report said that foreclosures in Horry County affected one in every 925 housing units, a rate of just 0.11 percent. Georgetown County had an even lower rate with one in every 1,526 housing units in foreclosure, which amounted to 0.07 percent of all the county’s housing units, according to RealtyTrac.

Sales trend continues up

Despite the increase in foreclosures, single-family home sales were up by 12.4 percent in October over September.

The data, which is supplied by SiteTech Systems of Myrtle Beach, shows that the resurgence of the market that started here about a year ago continues at a healthy pace.

Sales of single family homes were up 21.8 percent through October this year.

There were fewer sales of distressed properties, SiteTech reported, which helped drive the median sales price for single family homes to $179,900, up 6.5 percent from October 2012.

Condominium sales slipped from what they were in October 2012 but are up 5.3 percent year-to-date through October compared to the same period in 2012. Year to date, the median sales price for condos improved by 6.2 percent to $110,000.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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