Increasing volume of distressed sale of church properties

No surprise there.

The Wall Street Journal reports here the volume of churches going through distressed sale of their property has increased rapidly over the last couple of years.  In addition to a good background article, which I think you should read, there is a great pair of charts that gives good info.

The chart on distressed sales by quarters shows the following numbers, which I added up to get the total by year:

  • 2 in 2006 (yes, only two)
  • 9 in 2007
  • 25 in 2008 – starting to take off – almost tripled
  • 61 in 2009 – more than doubling
  • 96 in 2010 – just over 50% increase

One piece of good news in the graph is the sales peaked in the second quarter of 2010 at 30.  Distressed sales then dropped to 23 and 22 in the next two quarters.

States with the highest number of distressed sales were California with 29, Michigan was 23, Florida with 23.

Basic scenario sounds like what those of us in the nonprofit world already knew.  Churches that built a new facility near the peak have a very high debt load and are struggling greatly with drops in giving.

The count of distressed sales includes short sale, distressed sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, foreclosure, and auction.

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