California Short Sales, Foreclosures, REOs Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside & Orange County Short-Sales Listings

19 Jan 09 Southern California Home Sales up 50% but Most Are Foreclosures

California Short Sales continue to close at a rapid pace, while many home foreclosures have been slowed by the recent trend of loan modification plans. Recent reports suggest that most mortgage lenders continue are accepting reasonable requests for home financing relief from loan modification companies and distressed homeowners. In a recent Reuters article, Lisa Baertlein evaluates the significance of recent reports that December home sales in Southern California jumped 50.5 % from the year earlier. The DataQuick report also indicated that the median price fell 34.6 % to $278,000 as homebuyers snapped up foreclosed properties.

The area’s median price, which reflects the midpoint of sale prices, hit $505,000 in mid-2007, DataQuick said. A total of 19,926 new and resale homes and condominiums were sold and purchased last month in the 6-county region that is the most heavily populated area in the state of California. The area, including such cities as Los Angeles, San Diego and Riverside, recorded 13,240 sales during December 2007. The median price paid for homes sold in Southern California hit $278,000 in December, down from $425,000 in December 2007. DataQuick said the drop in the median price “overstates the decline in home values” since more affordable homes in the foreclosure-hit inland markets accounted for a large portion of sales. The Southern California foreclosure sales accounted for 55.7 % of December’s re-sales, up from 24.3 % in December 2007.

California’s residential real estate market was one of the most expensive in the US during the years-long housing bubble. The state is now struggling with one of the country’s highest foreclosure rates after many buyers got in over their heads with debt Formerly sidelined buyers are rushing to snap up foreclosed homes, but many would-be buyers in expensive markets remain on the sidelines because financial institutions are reluctant to make so-called “jumbo mortgage loans required to pay for homes in California’s many high-price neighborhoods. John Walsh, president of DataQuick said, “Mortgage interest rates last month were near record lows … It does look like the spigot is being opened a little bit, at least for reduced home purchases.” Read the complete article.

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06 Jan 09 Short Sales in California May Slow with Low Rates and Mortgage Relief

According to former Ditech executive Josh Emmons, “The increased consumer awareness of foreclosure prevention alternatives like loan modifications has reduced some of the short sale market-share.” Still many real estate evaluators expect a bumpy road for 2009 with property values forecasted to decline in double digits across the state. California short sales continue to dominate the Southern California housing market. However many believe we will see a turn of the tide for the mortgage business.

KMG President, Jason Cardiff remains optimistic of a possible rebound for the housing sector in 2009 because of the significant efforts from the mortgage powerhouses to lower interest rates and make credit more available for refinancing and new home financing.  In a recent Real Estate Related News article Jason Cardiff said, “2009 may see the housing sectors and home financing markets rebound after all.” He continued, “The Federal Reserve showed their commitment with record low rate cuts to fight deflation and many financial insiders believe the President Elect, Barrack Obama will be aggressive in an effort to stem the foreclosure mess.” Read the complete story > Jason Cardiff Remains Optimistic of 2009 Mortgage Rebound

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23 Dec 08 California Homebuying Frenzy

The LA Times. “We’ve pretty much blown through the first couple of stages of grief with regard to the Southern California housing bust. There’s no room left for denial now that home prices in the Southland are down 44% from their peak in 2007, and there’s not much use for anger. Now we’re bargaining.”

“Pretty typical is a one-bedroom, one-bathroom house on East 98th Street in South Los Angeles, near the intersection of the Harbor Freeway and Century Boulevard. Its listing calls the 738-square-foot house ‘great for a growing family.’ The seller wants $85,000 for the house, which sold in 2006 for . . . $365,000.”

“Throughout Southern California, real estate agents say and sales records confirm that attractively priced foreclosed houses sell quickly and does not mean prices will go back up any time soon. ‘I am absolutely positive it’s still going down,’ said Dennis Findly, 18-year veteran of Inland Empire real estate. ‘If you’re looking at a home like this for $250,000, it looks like a good deal, but a year from now it could be $220,000 or $230,000,’ he said.”  California loan modifications and foreclosure statistics continue to send shock waves through the Westen real estate communities.  Read the complete Housing Bubble article > A Bidding War For Buyers In California.

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30 Nov 08 Home Foreclosures Hindering California Economy

In addition to the US Treasury Secretary’s policy reversals and changing rationales on how to stabilize the financial system, we now have further proof that Henry Paulson has no idea what he is doing. His statement yesterday that ‘Nothing is more important to getting through this housing correction than the availability of affordable home loan financing,’ is simply wrong. The problem is not that people can’t buy homes the problem is we can’t keep people in their homes. In other words, ‘It’s the foreclosures, stupid.’ Watch this video with California Governor Promoting Foreclosure Prevention Methods >

The colossal and continuing wave of home foreclosures caused the disintegration of numerous banks and financial institutions, destabilized the housing market, and have resulted in national and global financial chaos. In August of this year, California experienced 101,000 foreclosure filings, which equated to about one filing every thirty seconds. At the same time, our nation experienced about one foreclosure filing every ten seconds. Home loan defaults, short sales and all its consequences are causing the credit and liquidity crisis, not the other way around. Until we solve the foreclosure problem, we will continue to have credit and liquidity issues.

AIG, Citigroup, and numerous other financial institutions are collapsing because of defaults and loan modifications. Yet the Treasury Secretary continues to believe that a top-down approach where we continue to throw money at Wall Street will somehow solve the problem. Using hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to buy distressed mortgage securities from Wall Street firms does nothing to help distressed homeowners stay in their homes. None of the Treasury Secretary’s approaches are targeted at preventing foreclosures. That is a massive and unforgivable strategic and tactical error.

It is time to listen to FDIC Chair Sheila Bair, who since last year has repeatedly identified home foreclosures as the root cause of the economic crisis. Her foreclosure prevention policies of forcing Wall Street to accomplish home loan modifications to keep people in their homes is one of the few sensible solutions that will help our economic recovery begin.

27 Nov 08 San Diego Real Estate Market Update

According to California realtor, Suzanne Hefni-Pyle, the San Diego housing market is displaying signs of revival as home-buyer activity increases. Now in 2008, the markets have finally adjusted down in prices close to 2004. Price ranges under $400,000 are seeing multiple offers coming in, actually driving the sale price higher, in some cases as much as $20,000 over the original listed prices. They tend to be on bank-owned and short sale California properties. The standard listed properties are where Suzanne reported finding a tremendous savings negotiated down from the asking price for our buyer clients.

The high end market of $900,000 and up price ranges continue to soften, because the jumbo mortgage loan guidelines continue to worsen. It remains a “great buy” and likely has room for more negotiating, to attain a property that has adjusted down to 2004 prices. This current market has provided more inventories sitting on the market longer than ever, or recent years past, creating this great buyers market. Now, with the rising inventory of foreclosure homes, it is amazing some of the price reductions out there. If you would like a search to the MLS, you can do on your own anytime, change your search criteria anytime, search 24/7 or, contact me and I will get your account up and running today, to see for yourself, the abundance of home inventories to choose from right now in San Diego County.

Suzanne offers a free search customized by your needs: Search by, foreclosure, short sale and bank-owned properties, luxury Homes, ocean-front, ocean view homes, condos, townhomes, vacation homes, ranches, equestrian homes and more.


19 Nov 08 Southern California Home Sale Prices Decline But Sales Level Increase from Foreclosures

With the median price of Southern California homes down more than 40% from its peak, the housing market has now slid further than most economists expected. The median sales price for homes in the region fell to $300,000 in October, a level not seen since 2003 and a 41% drop from the peak price set in the spring and summer of 2007, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. Los Angeles County’s median home sales price was $355,000, down 29% from a year ago. Home sales prices declined because of the California short sales and foreclosed homes that flooded the market. For the first time since the crisis began, repossessed properties in October accounted for more than half of residences sold. Low home prices did drive sales up 56% from a year ago.

In a recent article, Peter Y. Hong shows how the unemployment is rising and consumer spending is sputtering and of course this adds more to the foreclosure crisis equation because it becomes even more difficult to finance or refinance home loans. Just last year, several market analysts interviewed by The LA Times predicted that Southern California home prices would drop 15% to 25% from their peak. It took only until July for the median price to fall 25% below its 2007 peak of $505,000, and it has kept falling since.

The California governor continues to promote home foreclosure prevention by encourages lenders to offer better financing with loan modifications that enable the homeowners to keep the homes.

Barring a dramatic economic reversal, the median sales price is on track to slip below $300,000 when November sales are calculated next month. Thomas Davidoff, a UC Berkeley economist, said he and others underestimated the drop in value because it was tougher a year ago to know just how many people had mortgaged their homes for more than they could really afford. Those earlier forecasts proved off because “it was hard for people to get their arms around just how bad mortgage lending standards had gotten,” Davidoff said.

During the real estate bubble, banks and mortgage brokers offered mortgage loans that required little or no money down, minimal proof of income and “teaser” mortgage rates that lowered initial monthly payments but later jumped to a much higher rate. Last year, it was unclear how many of those loans would default. But much of that mystery has been solved by now, as massive numbers of homes have been repossessed. In October 2007, 16% of the homes sold in Southern California had been foreclosed, compared with 51% last month. Mounting foreclosures flooded the real estate market with discounted repossessed properties, further decreasing home values. The ripple effect from that put even more homeowners’ upside-down because in many cases their mortgage balances are greater than their home is actually worth. The declining house values continue to lead to more foreclosures. Now, “we’re probably seeing an over-correction” in the most depressed inland areas, Davidoff said. In communities overrun by foreclosures, “you couldn’t build a house for less than what [existing homes] are selling for,” he said.

Christopher Thornberg, principal of Los Angeles consulting firm Beacon Economics, is among those who predicted a 25% price decline last November, making him one of the more bearish forecasters at the time. By March, he was estimating a 40% decline. Now he predicts that prices will keep dropping throughout 2009, until they’ve fallen 55% from their peak. Owners of higher-priced homes may put off selling during the early phases of a downturn, causing more expensive homes to decline in value at a slower rate. But eventually many high-end owners have to sell at prices well below peak levels, Thornberg said. Last month’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which tracks home sales by price tiers, showed that Los Angeles-area homes priced in the bottom third of the market had fallen 42% from their peak prices by late last summer — but those in the top third had dropped 21%.

In Southern California, Orange County posted the smallest price decline, with October prices 27% below a year ago. San Bernardino County’s 39% decline in October from October 2007 was the largest price decline, MDA DataQuick reported. Nationwide, the National Assn. of Realtors reported Tuesday that home sales prices fell in 80% of U.S. metropolitan areas in the third quarter. Foreclosures accounted for 35% to 40% of homes sold in the quarter. The National Assn. of Home Builders also reported Tuesday that its index of builder confidence hit its lowest level since its 1985 creation. The index is based on a survey of builders’ views on sales conditions for new homes.


18 Nov 08 Short Sales Drive Thousands of San Diego Homes Below $200,000 announces October 2008 San Diego foreclosure numbers and a San Diego home deal list with single-family detached homes for less than $200,000 and condominiums for sale for under $100,000.  San Diego continues to have a large foreclosure inventory, giving potential San Diego homebuyers and investors great buying opportunities. As of November 10th, 2008, there are 5,862 San Diego bank-owned properties. Buyers have been taking advantage of low prices and distressed properties; the current number of 5,862 San Diego foreclosed homes has dropped from more than 7,000 foreclosed properties in October. With over 2,500 San Diego foreclosure properties actively for sale on the San Diego Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the remaining 3,362 bank-owned properties are being processed to be available for sale or are currently in escrow.  Needless to say, California short sales and loan modifications for homes in Southern California have affected the San Diego marketplace. 

As proof of these buying trends, the number of San Diego foreclosure properties for sale in the next 90 days has dropped by fifteen percent: 3,979 San Diego foreclosure properties are scheduled for auction in the next 90 days, down from 4,589 in October 2008. Currently, there are approximately 7,000 San Diego homes and properties in the pre-foreclosure phase, down from more than 10,000 at the end of September 2008. Owners of San Diego real estate properties that are in pre-foreclosure have received a Notice of Default to alert them that a foreclosure auction is pending. Overall, however, San Diego bank-owned properties are decreasing as investors are buying up many of the foreclosure properties.

Brian Yui, CEO of, states that “there are countless opportunities for investors to buy San Diego distressed properties and achieve positive cash flow with only 25% down. Opportunities of this kind have not occurred in San Diego for over a decade. Because home purchase prices have dropped back to 2003 price levels, but rents remain at 2008 levels, in some San Diego suburbs a single-family detached home can be purchased for $200,000 and still rent for $1600 per month.” Due to these money-making opportunities, many of bank-owned listings are seeing multiple offers as San Diego real estate investors bid against eager first-time homebuyers.