SOURCE: RealtyTrac


May 09, 2013 00:01 ET

Southern California Foreclosure Activity Down 23 Percent in April Says RealtyTrac® U.S. Foreclosure Market Report

Defaults Rise in Orange, Riverside Counties; Top Rate in San Bernardino County

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - May 9, 2013) - Foreclosure filings were reported on 8,202 Southern California properties in April, down 23 percent from March for the five-county region, and a 61 percent drop from the level reported for April 2012, according to the RealtyTrac® Southern California Foreclosure Market Report™.

One in every 524 housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month in San Bernardino County, the highest foreclosure rate of the five counties in the region and ranked No. 16 in the state.

Orange County reported 544 Notices of Default (NODs) in April, a 30 percent increase from March, and the highest level of NODs in the county so far in 2013. Riverside County reported 750 NODs in April, a 4 percent increase from the previous month, and also the highest level of new foreclosure filings the county has seen this year.

"The increase in NODs is an expected result of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights that took effect in January," said Rich Cosner, president of Prudential California Realty covering Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in Southern California. "This increase in NODs will put no downward pressure on prices because demand for property is so high. It may move some homeowners, who have been living in their home for a long time without making payments, to put their home on the market, but you could put five times the number of NODs on the market and the homes would be sold in less than 30 days."

The three remaining counties in the region reported declines in the number of NODs for the month after posting two consecutive months of increases in the previous two months. San Diego County NODs were down 13 percent, Los Angeles County NODs were down 8 percent and San Bernardino County NODs were down 4 percent.

Southern California Foreclosure Market Data by County - April 2013

County   NOD   LIS   NTS   NFS   REO   Total   1/every X HU (rate)   % chg from
Mar 2013
  % chg from Apr 2012
United States   12,889   34,651   30,176   32,077   34,997   144,790   905   -5.06   -23.30
California   8,547   3   5,420   0   2,191   16,161   843   -12.59   -58.57
Los Angeles   1,839   3   1,276   0   3790   3,488   986   -28.77   -58.24
Orange   504   0   356   0   56   916   1,142   -5.86   -64.12
Riverside   750   0   470   0   183   1,403   566   -17.37   -63.56
San Bernardino   711   0   396   0   222   1,329   524   -21.03   -58.46
San Diego   544   0   352   0   170   1,066   1,089   -23.42   -63.99

Region's foreclosure rates substantially off their highs
Foreclosure rates for the five counties that comprise the Southern California region reached lows in April that have not been seen in many years.

Even with the highest foreclosure rate in the region for April, at one in every 524 housing units with a foreclosure filing, San Bernardino County is at the lowest rate reported since August 2006.

Neighboring Riverside County reported a rate of one in every 566 housing units with a foreclosure filing in April, ranked No. 21 in the state, but also the lowest rate in the county since August 2006.

One in every 986 Los Angeles County housing units had a foreclosure filing in April, ranked No. 41 out of the 58 counties in the state for the month, and the lowest foreclosure rate reported for the county since December 2006.

San Diego County reported a foreclosure rate of one in every 1,089 housing units with foreclosure filings, ranking No. 45 in the state for April, also the lowest county rate reported since December 2006.

Reporting one in every 1,142 housing units with a foreclosure filing, Orange County had the lowest foreclosure rate in the region for April, ranking No. 47 in the state. As in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, Orange County's latest foreclosure rate is also the lowest reported since December 2006.

State second largest contributor to nation's foreclosure total in April
California reported 16,161 properties with foreclosure filings in April, second only to national leader Florida. The Golden State's foreclosure total represents a 13 percent decline from March and a 59 percent decrease from the level reported in April 2012. One in every 843 California housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month, the 13th highest state foreclosure rate in the nation.

High-level national findings from the report:

  • Nationwide, foreclosure filings were reported on 144,790 U.S. properties in April, a decrease of 5 percent from the previous month and down 23 percent from April 2012. Total foreclosure activity in April was at the lowest level since February 2007, a 74-month low.

  • Scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions (NFS) increased 22 percent from March to April and were up 31 percent from a year ago to the highest level since October 2010 -- a 30-month high.

  • Scheduled foreclosure auctions increased from a year ago in 15 of the 26 judicial or quasi-judicial foreclosure states, including Maryland (199 percent increase), New Jersey (91 percent increase), Ohio (73 percent increase), Oklahoma (57 percent increase), and Florida (55 percent). Scheduled foreclosure auctions reached a 68-month high in Ohio, a 31-month high in Maryland, a 27-month high in New Jersey, and an 18-month high in Oklahoma.

  • Scheduled non-judicial foreclosure auctions (NTS) in April were down 7 percent from March and down 43 percent from April 2012 to the lowest level since December 2005 -- an 88-month low.

  • A total of 70,133 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in April, down 4 percent from the previous month and down 28 percent from a year ago.

  • Despite the nationwide decline, 22 states reported increasing foreclosure starts from the previous month, including New Jersey (138 percent increase), Connecticut (46 percent increase), Texas (37 percent increase), Georgia (35 percent increase), Oregon (16 percent increase), and California (13 percent increase). Foreclosure starts reached a 36-month high in Connecticut, a 27-month high in New Jersey, and were up on a monthly basis for the third consecutive month in California after hitting a 90-month low in January, when new legislation impacting the foreclosure process took effect.

  • Lenders repossessed 34,997 U.S. properties in April, down 20 percent from March and down 32 percent from April 2012 to the lowest level since July 2007 -- a 69-month low.

  • Lender repossessions (REO) decreased from a year ago in 37 states and the District of Columbia in April, but some notable exceptions where REO activity increased from a year ago included Washington (164 percent increase), Maryland (98 percent increase), Oklahoma (19 percent increase), and Ohio (17 percent increase).

  • Nevada posted the nation's highest state foreclosure rate for the second month in a row despite a 15 percent monthly decrease in foreclosure activity.

  • Akron, Ohio, posted the nation's highest metro foreclosure rate in April thanks in part to a 147 percent annual increase in overall foreclosure activity. One other Ohio city (Columbus), along with five Florida cities, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Chicago also registered top 10 metro foreclosure rates in April.

  • As of the beginning of May, A total of 11.3 million mortgages nationwide were seriously underwater, meaning combined amount of mortgages secured by the home was at least 25 percent more than the estimated value of the home. That represented 26 percent of all outstanding mortgages, but was down nearly 1.5 million from the 12.8 million seriously underwater mortgages in May 2012.

Read the full national foreclosure report for April here.

Report methodology
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the month -- broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded in previous months. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac's report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default -- Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction -- Notice of Trustee's Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). The report does not count a property again if it receives the same type of foreclosure filing multiple times within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located.

Report License
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

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About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac ( is the leading supplier of U.S. real estate data, with more than 1.5 million active default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties, and more than 1 million active for-sale listings on its website, which also provides essential housing information for more than 100 million homes nationwide. This information includes property characteristics, tax assessor records, bankruptcy status and sales history, along with 20 categories of key housing-related facts provided by RealtyTrac's wholly-owned subsidiary, Homefacts®. RealtyTrac's foreclosure reports and other housing data are relied on by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.

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