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Cincinnati housing market shows positive signs

Housing sales in the greater Cincinnati area have seen an increase recently, and at the same time the foreclosure rate has experienced a decline in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky. The president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors says that the decline in inventory and an increase in pending sales are good signs for the housing market.

The CABR says that in January, pending sales scored the highest number since 2007. Generally, a pending sale is a transaction that has not closed, but the buyer and seller have agreed to terms on the sale of the home. The president of the CABR says that the rise in pending sales indicates a positive sign for consumer confidence.

While pending sales have seen a jump and inventory has declined, the foreclosure rate in the Greater Cincinnati area remained fairly steady in December. The foreclosure rate in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area is hovering, with December numbers showing a 2.65 percent rate. That rate was fairly steady from November and remains roughly at the lowest rate seen in two years.

Real estate values generally an important indicator of consumer confidence. As the housing market strengthens, housing prices may see a rebound. For people who are struggling financially, a change in housing market prices may provide different options than may have been available during the housing market collapse and foreclosure crisis. Some homeowners may see an increase in home value, which could bring an underwater mortgage back toward the waterline or even above that line into positive equity.

When home values hit the apparent bottom, many Ohio residents may have owed more on the principal balance on a home loan (or first, second or more mortgages combined) making sale of the home difficult without a short sale. But if prices bring the housing market back up, many previously underwater mortgages may rise into positive equity.

Many working homeowners may not see a significant change in paying the bills as the housing market rises. Home value remains essentially a paper asset unless the home is up for sale. However, as the market changes, a struggling homeowner may find that saving the home, while finding debt relief may now make sense if the market starts to rebound.

A chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer can explain how filing for bankruptcy may be one option to shed unsecured debt, while retaining a home and other assets through the protections offered under the Bankruptcy Code.

Source: Cincinnati.com, "Warming housing market here, nationally," Cindi Andrews, Feb, 27, 2013

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