Hard Hit California Housing Market Rebounds as Home Values Rise

by devteam January 25th, 2013 | Share

It appears that one of the nation’s largest and mostrntroubled housing markets is getting back to normal.  According to data released by DataQuick, Noticesrnof Default (NoDs), the first step in the foreclosure process, on California</bhouses and condos fell 22.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared tornthe third quarter and were down almost 38 percent from the fourth quarter ofrn2011.  Californiarnhomeowners were a median of eight months behind on their payments when thernlender filed the Notice of Default and owed a median $14,364 on a medianrn$308,885 mortgage. </p

The 38,212 NoDsrnrecorded in the quarter was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2006, nearrnthe beginning of the foreclosure crisis. rnQuarterly filings in the state peaked in the first quarter of 2009 atrn135,431.  </p

DataQuick attributed the decline in earlyrnforeclosure filing to rising home values, an improving economy, and a shiftrntoward short sales which accounted for an estimated 26 percent of statewidernresale activity in the fourth quarter.  The median price paid for a home during the quarter wasrn$300,000, up 22.4 percent from a year ago and 32.2 percent off the median’srn$227,000 bottom in first-quarter 2009. </p

“Homernvalues increased through most of 2012, and the rate of increase picked uprntoward the end of the year. That means fewer and fewer homeowners arernunderwater, where they owe more than their homes are worth. That in turn meansrnthey can sell and pay off the mortgage, or perhaps refinance at today’s lowrninterest rates. This trend alone suggests we’ll see a continued decline inrnforeclosure rates this year. Another factor is the foreclosure-avoidance goalsrnof various settlements between lenders and the government,” said JohnrnWalsh, DataQuick president. </p

NoDrnfilings fell in all home price categories but default rates were higher inrnCalifornia’s most affordable neighborhoods.  Zip codes where 2012 median sale prices in thernfourth quarter were below $200,000 collectively saw 5.5 notices filed for everyrn1,000 homes while the ratio was 3.5 NoDs per 1,000 homes in zip codes withrn$200,000 to $800,000 medians and 1.3 per 1,000 where the median is abovern$800,000.  The same disparity was evidentrnwith foreclosures which declined in frequency as the median price in the ziprncode increased. </p

Foreclosurernresales accounted for 16.6 percent of all California resale activity lastrnquarter, down from 20.0 percent the prior quarter and 33.6 percent a year ago.rnIt peaked at 57.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009. </p

Most ofrnthe loans going into default are still from the 2005-2007 period with thernmedian origination quarter being the third-quarter 2006. That has been the casernfor three years, indicating that weak underwriting standards peaked then. </p

California has been among the hardest hit states inrnterms of foreclosures, ranking in the top five in RealtyTrac’s accounting ofrnforeclosure activity nationwide for most of the last six years.  Whilern1.1 million of California’s 8.7 million houses and condos have been involved inrna foreclosure proceeding the past five years, 780,000 were actually lost tornforeclosure. The other 320,000 were either sold, or the payments broughtrncurrent.

All Content Copyright © 2003 – 2009 Brown House Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.nReproduction in any form without permission of is prohibited.

About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

See all blogs


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Latest Articles

Real Estate Investors Skip Paying Loans While Raising Billions

By John Gittelsohn August 24, 2020, 4:00 AM PDT Some of the largest real estate investors are walking away from Read More...

Late-Stage Delinquencies are Surging

Aug 21 2020, 11:59AM Like the report from Black Knight earlier today, the second quarter National Delinquency Survey from the Read More...

Published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

It was recently published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which is about as official as you can Read More...