Thursday, April 15, 2010


Foreclosures, that is. Via Ace, the 1st quarter foreclosure rate was astronomical. More here. Been following this for quite some time, though I haven't posted much in recent months about the housing market trend. This doesn't bode well for sellers (whether individual home owners or banks), or for those who are way over their heads in mortgage payments. But, here in California, housing prices are STILL too high from the '98-'06 bogus boom that more than tripled in value. For someone like myself who would like to one day be able to buy/mortgage my first home, the market during the next 1-3 years will be good.

UPDATE: More here, with a focus on Ventura County, CA, and the Top 4 states:

In March alone, there were 1,919 foreclosure filings in the county, a 71 percent spike from February and an almost 14 percent increase from a year earlier, according to RealtyTrac. Last month’s filings included 769 default notices, 871 auction sale notices and 279 bank repossessions.

Foreclosures are going to be a problem the rest of the year, said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

“We’re climbing out of a basement of a very, very significant downturn,” Kyser said. “We are still losing jobs.”

Experts are mixed on whether the foreclosure fiasco is coming to an end. Some predict another big wave during the summer, when a slew of adjustable rate mortgages are due to reset."

It continues:

The state [of California] accounted for 23 percent of the nation’s total foreclosure activity in the first quarter — more than 216,000 homeowners received foreclosure notices.

Areas hardest hit by foreclosures include Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin and Kern counties.

Among states, Nevada continued to post the nation’s highest foreclosure rate, followed by Arizona and Florida.

UPDATE #2: Okay, maybe not so much good news for potential first-time homebuyers:

A quaint Camarillo three-bedroom house priced at $310,000 sold recently after fetching 11 offers. The winning bid came from an investor who offered $10,000 below asking price. The bank selling the home rejected several solid offers, including one that was $45,000 more than the asking price, with 20 percent down.

The catch? The investor had cash, and the bank wanted a quick close.

Traditional homebuyers are finding it hard to compete as banks try to minimize challenges by going for cash offers, said Kay Wilson-Bolton, a broker for Century 21 Buena Vista.

UPDATE #3: More bad news for the "sand states" here:

Cities in the "Sand States" of Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada, where overbuilding was rampant, are also in trouble, claiming nine of the top 10 spots in our list of cities in free fall. In Las Vegas, Riverside, Calif., and Phoenix, median home prices have fallen 50%, 44% and 37% from their respective peaks. Jobs are vanishing. Though country-wide, employers added 162,00 jobs last month, Riverside gained 13% fewer jobs in February 2010 (the latest numbers available by metro) than it did the same month three years earlier. Tampa, Fla., saw a 10% drop, and Los Angeles added 9% fewer jobs over the same time period.

These cities are also slow to absorb their glut of unsold foreclosed homes, keeping recovery at bay.

"These were highly speculative housing markets," says Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a Manhattan-based real estate appraisal firm. "In the markets that have unloaded a lot of foreclosed housing stock there's still a lot more coming."...

... "In California, so many jobs were concentrated in construction," says Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research at the Mortgage Bankers Association, the professional association for real estate financiers. "Jobs building single family homes wound up not being sustainable, and there were a lot of job losses."

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