California Default Notices Nearing 2007 Levels


Even though more notices of default were issued in December than the previous month, overall foreclosures remain near their lowest levels dating back to January 2007, according to PropertyRadar records.

In December, California notices of default recovered some of the 32% decline experienced during November by being up 11.9% on a monthly basis. Despite the December gains, notices of default have fallen 44% over the last year.

Additionally, notice of trustee sale decreased 910% in December. Overall, these are down 59.3% for the year.

Lastly, foreclosure sales gained 10.4% for the month but sank by 53.5% for the 12-months ending December 2013.

REO inventory remained basically unchanged month-over-month at approximately 42,000 properties. Housing units taken back by banks has remained under the 45,000 mark since last June. Since December 2012, bank-owned inventory is down 29.6%.

Meanwhile, preforeclosure inventory retreated from November by 2.4% to nearly 39,000 housing units, while scheduled for trustee sale inventory dropped 6.9% to about 20,000 properties.

Foreclosure activity has now reached pre-housing crisis levels, said Madeline Schnapp, director of economic research for Truckee, Calif.-based PropertyRadar.

The gradual California housing recovery and the numerous government programs available to homeowners facing default are working together to keep foreclosure activity at low levels.

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