Santa Clara County saw a 238 percent spike in home foreclosures over the last year, the biggest increase in the state, according to Default Research inc.
“Even with Senate Bill 1137, which required lenders to contact residents at least 30 days before filing a Notice of Default, the California foreclosure numbers still spiked in 2008,” said Serdar Bankaci, founder of Default Research. “Although the immediate effects of the 2008 bill were positive with a slight decline in foreclosure numbers in September and October, the other 10 months of the year were brutal for the state.”
The counties with the highest percentage increase from 2007 to 2008 were Santa Clara (238 percent), Solano (180 percent) and Fresno (179 percent).
It does not seem as if the foreclosure forecast will be improving anytime soon for California, Bankaci said.
“We expect to see foreclosure activity continue through the first two quarters of 2009,” he said. “With home prices in California dropping between 20 to 30 percent, many homes purchased during the real estate boom are upside down. Those who took the risk and financed using adjustable rate mortgages are going to have problems.”
The research firm reported that foreclosures had increased 131 percent in all of California.
The foreclosure situation in California and across the country could improve by the third quarter of 2009 when action taken by the U.S. government late in 2008 trickles down into the economy, Default Research reported.
“It generally takes 9 to 12 months before interest rate cuts by the government and other stimuli begin to benefit the consumer, and then the foreclosures should slow down,” said Bankaci, whose daily pre foreclosure listings are e-mailed directly to real estate professionals in the region.
Los Angeles County saw 122,408 unique properties enter into some stage of foreclosure in 2008. That number is up 107 percent from 590,082 in 2007, according to the firm’s statistics.
The top three counties with the highest number of foreclosures were Los Angeles (122,408), Riverside (82,072), and San Bernardino (64,144).
The counties with the least growth in foreclosure activity were Santa Barbara (48 percent), Ventura (89 percent) and San Diego (103 percent).