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According to MSNBC 5 million borrows are nearly two months behind in their mortgage payments in January 2011. The numbers which are generated from RealtyTrac are a representation of public notices filed on behalf of lenders who are not getting paid. These numbers are staggering as we hope for a Spring turnaround in the economy.

The doom and gloom news can scare us locally but then again the same article  states “More than half of the country’s foreclosure activity came out of five states in 2010: California, Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Michigan. Together, these state recorded almost 1.5 million households receiving a filing, despite year-over-year decreases in California, Florida and Arizona”. It should be pointed out that “5 million borrows” are not being foreclosed on or evicted but only receiving warnings. A minor but important distinction.

So put this into a local market perspective. If you click around the RealtyTrac website (click here) you will find a map showing the foreclosure trends nationwide. Let me insert a bit of good news here based on what can be observed: Kansas & Missouri are among the lowest numbers nationwide for foreclosures. The states that are hit the hardest are also in the worst economic positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistic shows that the worst states for foreclosures are the same states that have the highest unemployment rates. These are tough times for everyone, but we need to sift through the nationwide data and general perceptions of our market to call this situation what it actually is.

I’m actually encouraged by where we stand in both of these line-ups. Kansas is in great shape and although Missouri is in the middle of the pack, the better areas of Missouri are still thriving and see increases in values (specific location is imperative). If you consider the housing affordability index (click here) created by the National Associate of Realtors with the same statistical data above you can safely assume that if people can’t afford where they live they will be going where they can find jobs and affordable housing. The affordable housing index shows that the Mid-West has historically been the most affordable region to live. 

If it is good news you want, follow the Kansas City Business Journal (click here)  and look at the majority of the headlines on a daily basis: “$20M Ventured, new firm gained”…”Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City: Economic Improvement Continues”…”Nordstrom Rack will open KC-area store”….”Ford Motor Co. plans to hire 7,000 us workers”…

This is good news for our local marketplace. Keep it in perspective and don’t succumb to nationwide data and perceptions when considering your local economy. Things will get better and we have to know where we stand before we start moving.

Our economy is dependent on many things, but nothing more important than you.