DataQuick’s 1st quarter Foreclosure report is out and it’s BAAAAD!
The number of California homes going into foreclosure jumped last quarter to its highest level in more than 15 years, as the market continued to works its way through declining home values and a pool of at-risk mortgages that were originated in 2005 and 2006, a real estate information service reported.
Lending institutions sent homeowners 113,676 default notices during the January-to-March period. That was up by 39.4 percent from 81,550 the previous quarter, and up 143.1 percent from 46,760 for first-quarter 2007, according to DataQuick Information Systems. Last quarter's number of defaults was the highest in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1992.
"The main factor behind this foreclosure surge remains the decline in home values. Additionally, a lot of the 'loans-gone-wild' activity happened in late 2005 and 2006 and that's working its way through the system. The big 'if' right now is whether or not the economy is in recession. If it is, the foreclosure problem could spread beyond the current categories of dicey mortgages, and into mainstream home loans," said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick's president.
Although 113,676 default notices were filed last quarter, they pertained to 110,392 homes. The difference is the result of some borrowers defaulting on multiple loans (e.g. a primary mortgage and a line of credit).
Last quarter's default numbers were a record in almost all of the state's 58 counties. The notable exception being Los Angeles County, which was particularly hard hit by the recession of the early 1990s. During last quarter, the county's 20,339 defaults represented 94.8 percent of its peak quarter back in Q1 of 1996, which saw 21,444 defaults.
Of the homeowners in default, an estimated 32 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 52 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 47,171 during the first quarter. That's the highest since DataQuick began tracking Trustees Deeds in 1988. Last quarter's total rose 48.9 percent from 31,676 in the previous quarter, and jumped 327.6 percent from 11,032 in first quarter 2007. 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.
Foreclosure resales have emerged as a significant market factor, accounting for 33.1 percent of all California resale activity last quarter. A year ago it was 3.2 percent. Foreclosure resales vary significantly by area, from 5.1 percent in San Francisco County to 66.7 percent in San Joaquin County.
County/Region 2007Q1 2008Q1 Yr/Yr%
Los Angeles..... 8,843 ....20,339..... 130.0%
Orange ......... 2,644... 7,082 ........167.9%
San Diego .......3,931... 8,975........ 128.3%
Riverside .......5,750.. 15,022 .......161.3%
San Bernardino ..4,357.. 11,149 ....155.9%
Ventura .........965 ........2,176..... 125.5%