Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Santa Barbara County Foreclosure Trends

I don't know about anybody else, but I'm getting pretty dizzy watching the stock market go up 400 points one minute and then be down 200 points the next. It has been a very wild ride to say the least if you are paying attention there.

The Santa Barbara County real estate market hasn't been so up and down. It has been pretty consistent for the most part.

With respects to foreclosures and some of the indicators I watch to tell me whether they are slowing or not, the trend is certainly slowing.

The most significant number in September was the number of notice of defaults the county reported recording. There were only 112 as compared to 269 in August. I am certain that some of the legislation requiring lenders to get in touch with borrowers before recording these notices is having an affect on how many are being recorded, but I also think they will be working out the terms of some borrowers loans which again will cause the default rate to slow down.

The number of trustees deeds has also declined in a large way from 217 in August to 146 in September. More obviously good news for the foreclosure market.

The last 2 pieces of the equation are also spelling relief for the foreclosure market. The number of loans that are adjusting this month is 228 which is the peak for the year. I have data out to January 2009 and that number is 115. This tells me less borrowers are going to feel stuck in the adjustable loans they have.

The final part of the foreclosure equation in my mind is how many of these foreclosures are selling? This is important since that inventory needs to be bought up before we are going to see prices start to really stabilize and climb. In Santa Barbara County there were 81 of those properties purchased in September. This number has continually increased since January of this year showing me that the price point is being reached.

Foreclosures aren't going away any time soon, but they are selling and they are becoming less of an impact on our residential markets.

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