Research firm DataQuick says California saw an unusually sharp
drop in the number of foreclosure starts from January to March.
"Statewide, in the first quarter of this year, notices of
default dropped to the lowest level in just over seven years, since
the fourth quarter of 2005."
DataQuick Analyst Andrew LePage says foreclosure starts
dropped by 67% year-over-year and more than 50%
LePage attributes part of the drop in foreclosures to an
improving economy and rising home prices. Another reason is a new
state law to protect homeowners.
"What they call the 'Homeowner Bill of Rights' that kicked
in January 1st and it looks like it's taking the lending
industry a while to adjust to that."
LePage warns - once lenders do fully adjust, default notices
could edge up later in the year.
The median sales price for a California home last quarter was
$297,000, up 22.7 percent from a year ago.