Saturday, November 19, 2011
STOCKTON AGAIN NO. 1 IN FORECLOSURES HOME PRICES FLAT AS DEFAULTS RISE ACROSS THE NATION
November 10, 2011
WASHINGTON - Home prices remain flat in San Joaquin County, but foreclosure activity jumped last month, again making Stockton/San Joaquin County the nation's No. 1 foreclosure market.
With one in every 143 housing units with a foreclosure filing in October, Stockton took the top metro foreclosure rate away from Las Vegas, which had been the No. 1 foreclosure market for 22 consecutive months.
Foreclosure activity in Stockton increased 10 percent from the previous month but was still down nearly 18 percent from October 2010. New defaults in Stockton were up 20 percent from the previous month and up 9 percent from October 2010.
Home prices dropped in nearly three-quarters of U.S. cities over the summer, dragged down by a decline in buyer interest and a high number of foreclosures.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that the median price for previously occupied homes fell in the July-September quarter in 111 out of 150 metropolitan areas tracked by the group. Prices are compared with the same quarter from the previous year.
In San Joaquin County, the median single-family home price of $165,000 has been virtually flat all year, according to TrendGraphix.
The national median home price was $169,500 in the third quarter, down 4.7 percent from the same period last year.
In the first nine months of the year, sales in San Joaquin County were down 16.5 percent.
This year, sales nationally are on pace to finish behind last year's total, which was the lowest in 13 years.
At the same time, foreclosure activity shot up in October, jumping 17 percent in California to a 13-month high.
"The October foreclosure numbers continue to show strong signs that foreclosure activity is coming out of the rain delay we've been in for the past year as lenders corrected foreclosure paperwork and processing problems," said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosures.
Existing home sales in the West declined 2.6 percent in the third quarter to a level of 1.14 million but are 16.7 percent higher than a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the West dropped 9 percent to $205,700 in the third quarter from the same quarter of 2010.
"Western home sales are dominated by cash investors in the lower price ranges," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.
Most analysts say prices will sink further, because unemployment remains high and millions of foreclosures are expected to come onto the market over the next few years.
Sales of previously occupied homes dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in the third quarter, slightly ahead of last year's pace for the same period.
Sales were lower than usual for the summer season last year, because a federal tax credit inspired more buying in the spring.
Sales are low, even though the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is hovering near 4 percent.
• Prices drop: Home prices fell in nearly three quarters of U.S. cities over the summer. The median price for a previously occupied home fell in the July-September period in 111 out of 150 metropolitan areas.
• Drops, gains: Fourteen cities had double-digit declines, led by Mobile, Ala. (17.7 percent drop) Eight cities saw double-digit price gains, led by Grand Rapids, Mich. (23.7 percent increase)
• Bad outlook: Most analysts say prices will sink further because of high unemployment and millions of foreclosures that are expected to come onto the market in the next few years.
Source: National Association of Realtors