Everyone is talking "OH SHIT" here
and that's a positive sign.
It is a very positive sign if the only thing is the MARKET. IF the underlying Economy is also cracking, that is a different animal. That is where the problem is looking to settle right now.
Everyone refocused on the Stock Market today. That is an interesting element but it doesn't change the Financial Sector [which the rate cut will help] or the Housing sector, which the rate cut might help but not if it just gets sub prime borrowers again. MLS books are chocked fuller than ever before.
THIS is going to have more significant and long term effect on the Economy than the Stock Market. This is being played out in every city.
Stunning jump in foreclosures
Carolyn Said, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
(01-22) 11:22 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- Foreclosures and default notices skyrocketed to record peaks in California and the Bay Area in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to a report released Tuesday. The information was a fresh reminder that the slumping real estate market is continuing to have a serious impact on homeowners, particularly those with risky subprime mortgages.
Lenders repossessed 31,676 residences in California in the October-November-December period, according to DataQuick Information Systems, a La Jolla research firm. That was a dramatic 421.2 percent increase
from 6,078 in the year-ago quarter.
In the Bay Area, foreclosures rose an equally stunning 482.5 percent to 4,573 in the fourth quarter, compared with 785 a year ago. Contra Costa County, with 1,558 foreclosures, up 533.3 percent from a year ago
, had the most, followed by Alameda County with 1,026 (a 514.4 percent increase) and Solano County with 704 (up 528.6 percent).
"Foreclosure activity is closely tied to a decline in home values," DataQuick President Marshall Prentice said in a statement. "With today's depreciation, an increasing number of homeowners find themselves owing more on a property than its market value, setting the stage for default if there is mortgage payment shock, a job loss or the owner needs to move."
It was the most foreclosures since DataQuick began tracking them in 1988 and more than double the previous peak of 15,418 foreclosures in the third quarter of 1996. The fewest foreclosures recorded were in the second quarter of 2005, when 637 homes were repossessed.
Mortgage default notices, sent by lenders when homeowners are several months behind on payments, also hit record highs. Default notices are the first step of the foreclosure process.
Statewide, lenders sent 81,550 default notices, up 114.6 percent from 37,994 in the fourth quarter of 2006. It was up 12.4 percent from 72,571 in the third quarter of 2007. It was the most defaults since DataQuick began tracking them in 1992.
In the Bay Area, default notices were up 136.9 percent from a year ago, with 12,704 households receiving them. Year-to-year increases in default notices ranges from 84.4 percent in San Mateo County to 199.7 percent in Sonoma County. Contra Costa had the most notices by number, with 3,805, followed by Alameda with 2,573 and Santa Clara with 2,162.
Another gloomy statistic showed that default notices are increasingly more likely to turn into foreclosures. Homeowners can resolve defaults by catching up on their payments, refinancing or selling the house for what they owe. Only 41 percent of homeowners in default were able to pursue these solutions, DataQuick said, compared to 71 percent a year ago.
DataQuick said most of the loans that went into default in the quarter were originated beween August 2005 and August 2006, during the height of subprime loan frenzy.
The median home price in California at year end was $402,000, down from $484,000 in March, DataQuick said. However, it pointed out that much of that decline is due to a change in the types of houses sold, as fewer high-end properties changed hands after mortgage lending tightened in August.
On a loan-by-loan basis, mortgages were most likely to go into default in Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, DataQuick said. They were least likely to go into default in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties.
Stunning jump in foreclosures