Thursday, April 23, 2009

Now unemployment is hitting home values

From the Oregonian:

After nearly two years of high-risk loans driving record numbers of Portland-area homeowners into default, lenders are seeing a second, bigger wave of foreclosures.

And now, the culprit is unemployment.

Since late 2008, the jobless rate and the number of foreclosures have been rising together in Oregon and southwest Washington, entwined in a cause-and-effect climb toward the top of the charts.

"I definitely think that's what we're seeing now everywhere -- and that's especially the trend we're seeing in Oregon." said Daren Blomquist, spokesman for RealtyTrac, a California-based company that tracks foreclosures nationwide. "A lot of the rise in foreclosures has to do with unemployment."

But the picture is even darker in Clark County, which in March produced Washington state's highest foreclosure rate for the second month in a row. Clark County's unadjusted March unemployment rate of 12.5 percent -- the worst since 1983 -- was coupled with 605 foreclosures.