What Does a 67% Drop in Foreclosures Mean for Agents?

We have just entered a new era, not seen before in the California home real estate market. Are you and your fellow real estate agents and brokers ready for this new ecosystem?
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Think about it. Home foreclosures plunged 67% this year. Last quarter’s 18,567 default notices were the lowest we’ve seen in California in seven years. Less REOs mean less inventory in an already dry season of homes on the market.

Does this mean it’s become a seller’s market? No doubt about it, home prices are trending up – but are still not at levels seen just before the bubble burst. Is there more steam ahead? Should sellers wait and see or jump in now?

Let’s also remember that rising home prices are enabling homeowners, who were once underwater, to be back in positive home equity territory allowing them to refinance and take advantage of the record low mortgage rates.

Additionally, new state regulations on foreclosures that took effect on January 1st are having an impact. These new regulations outlaw such practices as “robo-signing” of foreclosures en masse, and “dual tracking” or pursuing a foreclosure while the borrower is seeking a loan modification.

Do you remember another time when pocket listings seemed to outsell MLS? A recent story in the Los Angeles Times by Alejandro Lazo, “Fewer homes are entering foreclosure” http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/23/business/la-fi-foreclosure-report-20130424 made us take a second look at this trend.

Or is this still a buyers’ market with super low interest rates? What are you telling your clients?

Share your local experiences with us.