Thursday, July 22, 2010

DataQuick: California Notice of Default Filings Decline in Q2

by Bill McBride on 7/22/2010 09:47:00 PM

DataQuick NODs
Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the Notices of Default (NOD) by year through 2009, and for the first half of 2010, in California from DataQuick.

Although the pace of filings has slowed, it is still very high by historical standards.

From DataQuick: California Mortgage Defaults Hit Three-Year Low; Foreclosures Rise

The number of California homes pushed into the formal foreclosure process between April and June dropped for the fifth consecutive quarter to the lowest level in three years. The declines were greatest in the most affordable areas, where foreclosure activity continues to fall from extremely high levels over the past two years, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 70,051 Notices of Default ("NODs") were filed at county recorder offices during the April-to-June period. That was down 13.6 percent from 81,054 for the prior quarter, and down 43.8 percent from 124,562 in second-quarter 2009, according to San Diego-based MDA DataQuick.

Last quarter's total was the lowest since second-quarter 2007, when 53,943 NODs were recorded. The peak was in first-quarter 2009 when 135,431 homeowners received foreclosure notices.

"Obviously, motivated sellers and accommodating lenders have played a part in bringing the default filings down, especially when it comes to short sales. Public policy has also been a factor. We also need to remember that prices have come up off bottom over the past year. If they continue to rise, fewer homeowners will find themselves under water, which is a significant factor in letting a home go," said John Walsh, DataQuick president.
The number of Trustees Deeds (TDs) recorded, which reflect the number of houses or condo units lost at the end of the foreclosure process, totaled 47,669 during the second quarter. That was up 11.2 percent from 42,857 for the prior quarter, and up 4.4 percent from 45,667 for second-quarter 2009. The all-time peak was 79,511 in third- quarter 2008.
As I've noted before, in terms of new NOD filings the peak was probably in 2009. A few key points:

  • Because of the number of homes in the foreclosure pipeline, the number of distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) will probably increase throughout 2010 - even as NODs decline.

  • As prices fall later this year, we might see another pick up in NODs.

  • Although NODs will decline in 2010 from 2009, the number will still be very high. The number of filings in the first half alone is at the peak of the previous housing bust.