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RealtyTrac: Foreclosures Down But California Still Leads U.S.

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, October 25, 2012

Here's how RealtyTrac's Daren Blomquist characterizes foreclosure activity in California between July and September:

"If you look at it in one way, it looked bad. But in another way, it looked good."

"Looked bad" Blomquist says because California cities accounted for the seven highest metro foreclosure rates in the nation.
Stockton was number one; followed by Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario; Vallejo-Fairfield; Modesto; Merced; Bakersfield; and Sacramento.
"However, the good news is that all seven of those, foreclosure activity continues to be on a downward trend - down both from the previous quarter, in most of those metro areas, as well as all of them down from a year ago."
…down 20% to 35% from a year ago. But Blomquist points out - California was hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis and it'll take time to work through the distressed inventory.
He says even though Stockton had the country's highest foreclosure rate, the numbers are down from a year ago…
"…a 21% decrease in foreclosure activity in Stockton. That's a continuation of a trend. Stockton, similar to Sacramento is…the numbers in September were below the levels of 2008 as well as 2007."
Sacramento had the 7th highest foreclosure rate in the country. Blomquist says - while foreclosures are going down, short-sales are going up. Sacramento saw a 36% increase in short-sales during the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year. Stockton saw a 15% increase in short-sales.    
In Nevada, the Reno-Sparks area saw a whopping 70% decline in home foreclosures between July and September, compared to the same period last year.
Daren Blomquist: "It doesn't mean that, miraculously the distress has been removed from the market. But the most visible sign of distress which is the foreclosure, it's kind of being managed."
"Managed" he says by recent legislation in Nevada making it harder for lenders to foreclose on properties. 
"Rather than that distress translate into a foreclosed property, the banks are approving more short-sales in Reno. Those short-sales before foreclosure are up 42% from a year ago in 2012."
The Reno-Sparks area had the 73rd highest foreclosure rate in the country during the third-quarter with one-in-every 233 housing units getting a foreclosure filing.
Meanwhile, the South Lake Tahoe area is not included in RealtyTrac's list of metro areas with a population of 200-thousand or more.     
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