Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Foreclosures Continue to Linger in The Market

Website RealtyTrac reported today that the foreclosure crisis has continued to deepen and has begun to touch areas that have previously been able to avoid much of the housing downturn.

Alameda current status according to RealtyTrac is:

Preforeclosure 94
Trustee Sale 64
Banked Owned 83

These numbers show a rise from June to July.

The rise in foreclosures is a trend nationally and there are new signs that the foreclosure crisis could be spreading to parts of the country that had previously been relatively unscathed. RealtyTrac reported spikes in foreclosures in states like Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Illinois, where the prolonged recession is cited as the culprit.

Over the past two years the bulk of foreclosures were driven by a combination of risky lending practices and declining home values. The surge in foreclosures has been heavily concentrated in just four states — California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona. These four states accounted for well over half of all foreclosures last month, according to data from RealtyTrac.

The foreclosures appear to be driven by local unemployment. In Alameda County unemployment has gone over 11 percent and the job market continues to be very tight. Much of the flux in the home market will remain until unemployment settles down regionally.

Listed distressed properties in Alameda has seen small decrease this week, but over the past six weeks the number listed on the MLS has been about 13.

The government has slowed the pace of foreclosure with the institution of moratoriums and loan modification programs, but that also means that there is a hidden backlog or shadow inventory of home loans in default that could end up in foreclosure.

There have been several experts predicting a rise in foreclosures in the second half of this year. So it is something we will continue to monitor.


  1. With our economic status today, a loan modification may be the only way for a homeowner to save their home. But most banks that are big doesn't reply with loan modification inquiries fast because they don't care if they lose some loans to foreclosure.

  2. Hi,

    A strategy to prevent your home from foreclosures is to call your lender and ask for a forbearance period on payments. The lender will often give you three to six months. During this period, save every penny you have and apply it to future monthly payments. By taking this approach, you should be able to cover 6 to 12 months, which is a nice chunk of time.