As we reported yesterday, something odd is happening in the US, which supposedly is deep in a "housing market and economic recovery" - foreclosures on ultraluxury homes, those worth $5 million and over, have soared by 61% in 2013 (even as overall foreclosures continue to decline due to the well-known and much discussed "foreclosure stuffing" process, which means millions of properties are held in bank shadow inventory just waiting for the moment to be unleashed and end the implicitly home price subsidy abused by banks for the past three years). Granted, the overall sample is relatively small, with fewer than 200 properties in the ultraluxury category compared to 1.2 million for all properties tracked, but as RealtyTrac notes, "each of these high-value properties represents a much bigger potential loss for the foreclosing lender compared to a median priced property."
Additional thoughts from RealtyTrac:
This trend may indicate lenders are now financially stable enough to more comfortably weather the big-ticket losses that these properties potentially represent. In addition, an improving housing market means more prospective buyers, even for these ultra high-end homes. A bigger buyer pool translates into higher sales prices on these properties, allowing lenders to recoup more of their losses on these jumbo loans gone bad.
"A home selling for $5 million or above represents the ultra-luxury end of the market, and so far in 2013 we’ve had 34 properties close over that price with the average sale being $7.7 million,” said Emmett Laffey, CEO of Laffey Fine Home International, covering the five boroughs of New York. “Any foreclosure properties in this type of ultra-luxury market usually get purchased very quickly since there is one thing all super rich buyers want – an outstanding deal on a real estate transaction, and in most cases foreclosures of this magnitude come with several million more dollars of built-in value.”
Regardless of the arbitrage opportunities available to "all cash" buyers, who would be happy to park some cash in real estate, the fact that ultraluxury foreclosures are soaring also means that even the "1%" is starting to succumb to reality and beginning to feel the pressure of a financial reality in which only the "too biggest" can never fail.
So what are the properties in question? The photo gallery below, courtesy of RealtyTrac, shows just where any given $5 million + property stopped making its mortgage payments.
MONTAGE, IRVINE, CA 92614
This home nestled on a bluff overlooking the ocean was listed for sale at $15.9 million but the foreclosure judgment amount at the foreclosure auction scheduled in November was $12.8 million.
PACIFIC COAST HWY, MALIBU, CA 90265
This foreclosure auction property is located right on the water on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. It features two detached units and was listed for $9.5 million, but the opening bid at the foreclosure auction in November was $8.8 million.
CUESTA LINDA, PACIFIC PALISADES, CA 90272
Built in 1990, this 5 bed, 6 bath estate was scheduled for foreclosure auction in November with an opening bid of $4.1 million, although the assessed value of the property is $5.5 million.
KIMRIDGE RD, BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210
This beautifully remodeled 5 bed, 7 bath estate was scheduled for foreclosure auction in October with a foreclosure judgment amount of $7.5 million. The grounds feature panoramic views of the ocean, a putting green, and stunning pool area.
COLONY VIEW CIR, MALIBU, CA 90265
A beach lover's dream! This pre-foreclosed, 5 bed, 5.5 bath single-family residence was custom built in 2001. A Notice of Default was filed in October with a default amount of $200,000, meaning the owner was behind that amount on mortgage payments.
BUSCH DR, MALIBU, CA 90265
This pre-foreclosed French Country hillside residence features 6 beds, 7 baths and sits on 8 acres.A Notice of Default was filed on this property in June, and at that time the homeowner was an estimated $125,000 behind on mortgage payments.
S OCEAN BLVD, DELRAY BEACH, FL 33483
Listed for sale at $13.5 million, this exquisite single-family residence in Florida is in the first stage of foreclosure. A dramatic and elegant floor plan makes this 6 bed, 9.5 bath home perfect for entertaining. The initial foreclosure notice was filed in July.
SANCTUARY DR, BOCA RATON, FL 33431
Beautiful single-family "sanctuary" in pre-foreclosure. It features 5 beds, 10 baths and has a fantastic pool and patio area with tranquil views. The pre-foreclosure notice was filed in September with an estimated total outstanding loan balance of $8.1 million.
SEA RIDGE DR, LA JOLLA, CA 92037
This 5 bed, 4.5 bath fully-furnished home was scheduled for foreclosure auction in November with an estimated total outstanding loan balance of $5.5 million. It features remarkable panoramic views and is located near many of La Jolla's unique shops.
ARROWWOOD CIR, HOUSTON, TX 77063
This bank-owned property was repossessed by the bank via foreclosure back in April 2013 for an estimated $6.3 million. It features 8 bedrooms, 13 baths and is situated on over 23,000 sq/ft.