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Orange County Foreclosure Rates Tumble

The rate of foreclosures is slowing. It remains to be seen whether it's due to a healthier market or simply a backlog in the process.

The number of homes slipping toward foreclosure dropped by 2.9 percent in Orange County during the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year, a real estate information service reported today.

Locally, default notices were sent to 3,599 homeowners, down 2.9 percent from the 2011 second-quarter total of 3,705, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

That declining rate of foreclosures is slightly less than in Los Angeles County, which was harder hit the housing market crash to begin with. Los Angeles County saw a 6.1 percent drop in foreclosures in the second quarter of 2012. Statewide, default notices were sent to 54,615 homeowners in the second quarter of the year, DataQuick reported. That was a 2.9 percent drop from the previous quarter's 56,258 notices and down 3.6 percent from the second quarter in 2011, when 56,633 default notices were sent.

``The foreclosure process has always been the sanitation department of the housing sector,'' said John Walsh, DataQuick president. ``It's where financial distress is processed. The question is whether these lower (default notice) numbers mean that there's less distress to process, or if we're just seeing distress get processed at a slower pace.''

Default notices do not always lead to a home foreclosure, according to DataQuick. Some homeowners emerge from the foreclosure process by bringing their payments current, refinancing or selling the home.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN  THE COMMENTS

Is the local housing market climbing it's way out of the hole, or are there still too many foreclosures to looming to bog down the market a while longer?

- City News Service

Charles July 24, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Interestingly, if you look at the Case Schiller index for housing prices in the Southern California metro, the housing bubble has nearly deflated. The index is about where it would be had housing prices inflated by a linear 4% annual rate starting in 1997 (a local minimum). That is, housing prices today are about where they would be had they increased an essentially a slightly higher than inflation rate.
berylphillipsberyl July 25, 2012 at 09:11 AM
If you're looking to refinance your mortgage, many use 123 Refinance which will shop the national marketplace of lending companies for you, and you'll likely get a better rate.
Joker Joe July 25, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Just received a 3.375% 30 yr. fixes with zero fees. The best around.
SAS July 25, 2012 at 04:47 PM
The amount of foreclosures may "look" like they are dropping, but its because those predatory loans that were put out have caused a glut on the banks' books definitely putting them behind in taking back inventory. 100,000 homes being foreclosed on statewide is a sorry spectacle of the wide-spread debacle caused by "giving" billions to the banks instead of helping the poor homeowners who would have put that money back into circulation.
Eli Elliott July 25, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I would not call a 2.9% annual decline a "tumble". This is statistically insignificant. The real question is to what extent the mortgage holders are "managing" their bad paper. I've also heard that we have a home equity loan bubble lurking fairly soon. Eli

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