One upside of inflating home prices (and an economy sort of on the mend, and foreclosure regulations): Foreclosures in Los Angeles were way way down in the first quarter of 2013 over the same period last year. The Daily News reports on DataQuick's numbers: "Los Angeles County notices of default, the first step in the foreclosure process, plunged 65.2 percent in the first quarter to 3,985 from 11,443 a year ago. And they dropped 50.8 percent from 8,100 in last year's fourth quarter. That's the lowest number since lenders issued 3,480 default notices in the fourth quarter of 2005." Actual foreclosures were down 53.1 percent, to 2,217 properties; they were also down a pretty hefty 36.6 percent over just the last quarter of 2012. The current numbers are the lowest since the first quarter of 2007. Most of the foreclosures still date from the nasty 2005 through 2007 period, "indicating that weak underwriting standards peaked then." And as always, "foreclosures remained far more concentrated in the state's most affordable communities."
According to DQ's president, "Foreclosure starts were already trending much lower late last year because of rising home prices, a stronger labor market and the settlement agreement between the government and some lenders. But it appears last quarter's drop was especially sharp because of a package of new state foreclosure laws - the 'Homeowner Bill of Rights' - that took effect January 1. Default notices fell off a cliff in January, then edged up." It's possible foreclosures will tick up again as lenders "adjust" to the new laws.
· Foreclosure activity in L.A. County plunges [LADN, image via]
· Golden State Foreclosure Starts Lowest Since Late 2005 [DataQuick]