California Foreclosure Declines a Welcome Break

By March 19, 2008California, Foreclosure, Reports

Foreclosures Drop In February

Discovery Bay, CA, March 19, 2008 ForeclosureRadar, the only website that tracks every California foreclosure with daily auction updates, today issued its monthly California Foreclosure Report. Statewide foreclosure rates declined in February, even on a daily average basis. Foreclosure sales at auction declined 15 percent to 16,931 sales with a combined loan value of $6.85 Billion. Notices of Defaults, the first step in the foreclosure process, were down 7.6 percent to 37,362. There were 18,636 Notices of Trustee Sale, which set the auction date and time, down 20 percent from January. Despite the declines the numbers are significantly higher than Q4’07 averages, – defaults higher by 26 percent, and foreclosure sales higher by 36 percent.

“February declines are a welcome break from the astonishing increases in December, 2007 and January, 2008” said Sean O’Toole, founder of ForeclosureRadar. “Unfortunately, those increases and the continued withdrawal of lending options point to more trouble ahead. Based on current activity levels, we still do not expect foreclosures to peak earlier than the third or fourth quarter of 2008.”

Lenders continue to take back 98 percent of foreclosures at auction, despite offering substantial discounts. A year ago opening bids were discounted 30 percent or more on just 3 percent of sales. Today, 77 percent of sales are discounted an average of 19 percent and 31 percent are discounted 30 percent or more.

Of the foreclosed loans for which ForeclosureRadar has determined loan position, 98 percent were first mortgages with the majority of those properties having their second mortgage wiped out at sale. The majority of foreclosed loans were originated in 2006 (46 percent), followed closely by 2005 (36 percent), and for the first time 2007 (10 percent) which overtook 2004 (5 percent).

At the county level, the majority of large counties saw overall foreclosure declines, while a number of smaller inland counties saw continued increases despite the overall decline.

ForeclosureRadar February Report by County

RankChange In RankCountyNDFNTSSalesPopulation
Per Sale
% Change
Jan 2008
% Change
Feb 2007
10SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY16181076940709-6%431%
25MERCED COUNTY55536231678127%485%
32YUBA COUNTY11890848316%282%
4-1STANISLAUS COUNTY1133758611842-2%441%
5-3RIVERSIDE COUNTY472019042159905-23%288%
6-2SACRAMENTO COUNTY248817051392995-14%235%
743MODOC COUNTY91191,093800%800%
81SOLANO COUNTY6584793791,116-3%341%
91CONTRA COSTA COUNTY151310458141,2650%357%
1042CALAVERAS COUNTY4029361,2703500%ND
11-3SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY3650144315681,270-18%352%
120MADERA COUNTY2111241121,2897%11100%
131SUTTER COUNTY9885701,30615%218%
14-3KERN COUNTY11207455921,317-2%402%
15-9SAN BENITO COUNTY5826421,372-31%250%
16-3PLACER COUNTY3882301981,599-13%383%
172IMPERIAL COUNTY2461361001,66627%1011%
18-3MONTEREY COUNTY5013082261,880-7%528%
193LAKE COUNTYNDND331,94318%230%
200FRESNO COUNTY8425304302,0922%394%
210SONOMA COUNTY4782632292,0969%616%
22-6YOLO COUNTY150105822,321-22%356%
230EL DORADO COUNTY15094752,3496%188%
244COLUSA COUNTY271692,39029%ND
25-8SAN DIEGO COUNTY3145122812752,405-21%181%
269NAPA COUNTY10664532,53747%382%
2717TEHAMA COUNTY5223212,930110%200%
289KINGS COUNTY8152502,95539%614%
29-2TULARE COUNTY3272311393,026-8%286%
30-5ALAMEDA COUNTY12297474873,083-13%201%
31-13VENTURA COUNTY7472712603,144-33%247%
32-1SHASTA COUNTY12572533,424-7%104%
33-9SANTA BARBARA COUNTY2761121093,868-34%252%
34-5ORANGE COUNTY21577357594,048-22%341%
35-3LOS ANGELES COUNTY7207285224964,105-22%275%
36-6AMADOR COUNTY401594,237-25%29%
37-11PLUMAS COUNTY5254,289-38%150%
38-4SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY14277604,387-15%200%
39-6TUOLUMNE COUNTY3524134,479-28%160%
40-4NEVADA COUNTY6434224,548-12%175%
41-2SANTA CRUZ COUNTY16283544,858-7%350%
42-2SANTA CLARA COUNTY11145343515,052-6%448%
43-5BUTTE COUNTY9ND356,206-33%84%
443LASSEN COUNTYNDND57,0900%150%
45-4SISKIYOU COUNTY18967,691-25%ND
463HUMBOLDT COUNTY3620177,79621%325%
47-5SAN MATEO COUNTY300128818,940-33%224%
48-2MENDOCINO COUNTY3114109,045-23%400%
49-4MARIN COUNTY94432112,064-46%110%
52-1SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY139733125,764-47%107%

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Rankings are based on population per foreclosure sale. NDF indicates the number of Notices of Default that were filed at the county, and NTS indicates filed Notices of Trustee Sale. Sales indicates the number of properties sold at foreclosure auction. Percentage changes are based on monthly Sales. The data presented by ForeclosureRadar is based on county records and individual sales results from daily foreclosure auctions throughout the state—not estimates or projections.