More Foreclosure Sales than Resales in California

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For the first time in recorded history, and likely ever, the number of homes sold at foreclosure auctions exceeded the number of single-family and condo resale home sales in a month, according to ForeclosureRadar.com and DataQuick Information Services.

Foreclosure auction sales hit 19,821 in the month of January (454% increase over January 2007), while 19,145 resale transactions were recorded — the lowest monthly figure DataQuick has tallied going back to 1988.

DataQuick’s January foreclosure activity report also shows that Bay Area notices of default rose 137% in Q4 2007 over the same period in 2006. San Francisco’s nearly doubled from 173 to 334, for a 93% increase.

So far the vast majority of foreclosures are concentrated in some very well publicized areas — Sacramento, the Central Valley, Riverside, San Bernardino — and the leaders in the Bay Area are the east bay — Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

Trustees Deeds recorded (the actual loss of a home to foreclosure) hit an all-time high of 31,676 in Q4 2007. In the last real estate cycle, they peaked at 15,418 in Q3 1996. The all-time low was 637 in Q2 2005.

Ouch.

This is not a good sign of things to come. I feel the worst is only beginning and the correction is only picking up speed, and it obviously has yet to severely hit the inner areas (most of San Francisco, for one).