Sunday, January 10, 2010

Update on "Foreclosureville, U.S.A."

by Bill McBride on 1/10/2010 09:28:00 PM

Note: Here is a weekly summary and look ahead.

Evelyn Nieves at HuffingtonPost has an update on Stockton, CA: Stockton, California Is Foreclosureville, USA, Has One Of The Worst Foreclosure Rates In The United Sates. A short excerpt:

Stockton is a changed place. Whole neighborhoods have been decimated by the mortgage disaster. The tax base has shrunken. City services and municipal jobs have been cut. Unemployment hovers at about 16 percent. Economists predict it will take years for Stockton to recover from the housing bust.
...
Housing developments built for commuters have been hit the hardest, since they were the ones to attract newcomers fleeing the huge spike in prices closer to the Bay area. Those whose livelihoods depend on a healthy housing environment – real estate brokers, contractors, day laborers – are barely holding on here.
...
The heart of Foreclosureville, U.S.A. – the Stockton subdivision that had more bank repossessions than any other place in the country for much of the last two years – is starting to look like its old self again.

The "For Sale" signs that overwhelmed Weston Ranch are mostly gone, and the lawns where weeds grew like corn stalks are shorn.

Foreclosure businesses that sprang up, including one that spray-painted brown lawns green and another that offered a foreclosure bus tour, have folded. Every time a foreclosure hits the market, bargain hunters snap it up.

But looks are deceiving. In Weston Ranch, financial devastation struck like a natural disaster and the ground has not yet settled. Speculators are buying houses to rent out. On streets where everyone knew everyone, no one knows anyone.
A long way from normal ...