Tuesday, January 22, 2008

December Sales #s and Foreclosure #s (4th QTR)

The latest reports from DataQuick,

December Sales

A total of 25,585 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That's virtually unchanged from 25,578 for November, and down 41.1 percent from 43,431 for November 2006. Last month's sales made for the slowest December in DataQuick's records, which go back to 1988. On a year-over-year basis, sales have declined the last 27 months.

The median price paid for a home last month was $402,000, down 2.9 percent from $414,000 for the month before, and down 14.8 percent from $472,000 for December a year ago. The median peaked last March/April/May at $484,000. In December 2007 a total of 17,500 California homes were purchased with a "conforming" loan up to $417,000. That was down 29.8 percent from 24,913 for the same month a year earlier. Last month a total of 4,600 California homes were purchased with a "jumbo" loan of more than $417,000. That was down 69.8 percent from 15,227 for December 2006.

The typical mortgage payment that home buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,878. That was down from $1,951 in November, and down from $2,160 for December a year ago. They are 23.5 percent below the current cycle's peak in June last year.

Foreclosures on the rise

The number of mortgage default notices filed against California homeowners jumped last quarter to its highest level in more than fifteen years, a real estate information service reported.

Lending institutions sent homeowners 81,550 default notices during the October-to-December period. That was up by 12.4 percent from 72,571 the previous quarter, and up 114.6 percent from 37,994 for fourth-quarter 2006, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Last quarter's number of defaults was the highest in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1992.

The median price paid for a California home peaked at $484,000 last March and declined to $402,000 by the end of 2007. Most of the loans that went into default last quarter were originated between August 2005 and October 2006. The median age was 22 months, up from 15 a year earlier, indicating that the pool of at-risk home loans is getting larger.

Last quarter's default numbers were a record in 42 of the state's 58 counties. In Los Angeles County it was 63.5 percent of the first-quarter 1996 peak.
On a loan-by-loan basis, mortgages were least likely to go into default in San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties. The likelihood was highest in Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

Of the homeowners in default, an estimated 41 percent emerge from the foreclosure process by bringing their payments current, refinancing, or selling the home and paying off what they owe. A year ago it was about 71 percent. The increased portion of homes lost to foreclosure reflects the slow real estate market, as well as the number of homes bought during the height of the market with multiple-loan financing, which makes 'work-outs' difficult.

Trustees Deeds recorded, or the actual loss of a home to foreclosure, totaled 31,676 during the fourth quarter. That's the highest since DataQuick began tracking Trustees Deeds in 1988. Last quarter's total rose 30.8 percent from 24,209 in the previous quarter, and jumped 421.2 percent from 6,078 in fourth quarter 2006. In the last real estate cycle, Trustees Deeds peaked at 15,418 in third-quarter 1996. The all-time low was 637 in the second quarter of 2005.

County/Region...2006Q4… 2007Q4… %Chg
Los Angeles.....7,445....13,613...82.8%
San Diego.......3,150....6,151....95.3%
San Bernardino...3,538...7,288....106.0%

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