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Monday, July 23, 2012

DataQuick: California Foreclosure Activity Lowest in Five Years

by Calculated Risk on 7/23/2012 04:12:00 PM

From DataQuick: California Q2 Foreclosure Activity Lowest in Five Years

The number of California homes entering the formal foreclosure process dropped in the second quarter to its lowest level since early 2007. The decline stems from a combination of factors, including an improving housing market, the gradual burning off of the most egregious mortgages originated from 2005 through 2007, and the growing use of short sales, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 54,615 Notices of Default (NODs) were recorded on houses and condos during the April-though-June period. That was down 2.9 percent from 56,258 for the prior three months, and down 3.6 percent from 56,633 in second-quarter 2011, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.
Most of the loans going into default are still from the 2005-2007 period. The median origination quarter for defaulted loans is still third-quarter 2006. That has been the case for three years, indicating that weak underwriting standards peaked then. ...
The all-time peak for Trustees Deeds was 79,511 in third-quarter 2008. The state's all-time low was 637 in the second quarter of 2005, DataQuick reported.
Foreclosure resales accounted for 27.9 percent of all California resale activity last quarter, down from a revised 33.6 percent the prior quarter and 35.6 percent a year ago. It peaked at 57.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009. Foreclosure resales varied significantly by county last quarter, from 7.3 percent in San Francisco County to 47.4 percent in Madera County.

Short sales - transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property - made up an estimated 18.0 percent of statewide resale activity last quarter. That was down from an estimated 20.1 percent the prior quarter and up from 17.4 percent a year earlier. In terms of the number of short sales, last quarter's estimated 20,141 was up 13.0 percent from the prior quarter and up 10.2 percent from a year earlier.
Chicago Fed National Activity Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the number of NODs filed per year (according to DataQuick). The estimate for 2012 is twice the Q1 and Q2 level.

The number of NODs is still very high - well above the peak of the early '90s bust, but the number of NODs has been falling. When the number of NODs falls below the 1996 level (peak of previous housing bust) - that will really be progress.