Friday, October 26, 2007

Record California Foreclosure Activity

by Bill McBride on 10/26/2007 02:35:00 PM

From DataQuick: Record California Foreclosure Activity

Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the NODs filed in California since 1988 1992. For 2007, the number is estimated at the total for the first 3 quarters (46,670 in Q1, 53,943 in Q2, and 72,571 in Q3) plus an estimate of Q4 at the same rate as Q3.
California Notice of Defaults (NODs)
ADDED: The second graph shows the NODs normalized by the approximate number of owner occupied units in California. Normalized, 2007 foreclosure activity is 33% higher than '96 (the previous record year), as opposed to 51% higher in nominal numbers. I had to estimate the numbers - if someone has the annual owner occupied numbers for California, please send them to me. Thanks!California Notice of Defaults (NODs)
Lenders started formal foreclosure proceedings on a record number of California homeowners last quarter, the result of declining home prices, sluggish sales and subprime mortgage distress, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 72,571 Notices of Default (NoDs) were filed during the July-to-September period, up 34.5 percent from 53,943 during the previous quarter, and up 166.6 percent from 27,218 in third-quarter 2006, according to DataQuick Information Systems of La Jolla.

Last quarter's default level passed the previous peak of 61,541 reached in first-quarter 1996. A low of 12,417 was reached in third-quarter 2004. An average of 34,781 NoDs have been filed quarterly since 1992, when DataQuick's NoD statistics begin.

"We know now, in emerging detail, that a lot of these loans shouldn't have been made. The issue is whether the real estate market and the economy will digest these over the next year or two, or if housing market distress will bring the economy to its knees. Right now, most California neighborhoods do not have much of a foreclosure problem. But where there is a problem, it's getting nasty," said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick's president.

Half the state's default activity is concentrated in 293 zip codes, almost all of which are in the Inland Empire and Central Valley. Grouped together, those zip codes saw year-over-year home price increases that reached 34.0 percent in first quarter 2005. Prices peaked in third-quarter 2006 at $399,000. Last quarter's median of $352,250 is 11.7 percent off that peak.
...
Most of the loans that went into default last quarter were originated between July 2005 and September 2006. The median age was 18 months. Loan originations peaked in August 2005. The use of adjustable-rate mortgages for primary purchase home loans peaked at 77.8% in May 2005 and has since fallen.

Because a residence may be financed with multiple loans, last quarter's 72,751 default notices were recorded on 68,746 different residences.
It's hard to imagine, but next year will probably be worse.