Foreclsure News – from Santa Cruz and Beyond

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I drive my wife crazy with my singing – and not in a Marvin Gaye kind of way. One thing I like to sing to her to wake her from slumber is Good Morning – my rendition is especially horrible and all I really know is the chorus part. But hey, I still think it’s better than a nasty alarm buzzer. And it is also better than getting woken up by the morning news, especially in these dark days.

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You may have heard this one on the drive in to work, or perhaps they were bantering about it on NBC’s Today Show or something:

[From Bloomberg.com: Worldwide]

U.S. foreclosure filings jumped 57 percent and bank repossessions more than doubled in March from a year earlier as adjustable mortgages increased and more owners gave up their homes to lenders.

Yeah, good stuff. That’s what you want to hear as you write out your next mortgage payment check!

Of course, you know the famous saying – all real estate is local. What’s happening in Peoria isn’t really all that germane to what’s happening in bucolic Santa Cruz. So what is going on in Bucolic Santa Cruz? Read on:

[From Median home price drops to $650,000 – Santa Cruz Sentinel]

The switch pushed the median price of a single-family home down in March to $650,000 from $682,500 in February — but not as low as $599,000 in January, when 33 percent of homes sold for less than $500,000. The median is the mid-spending point of what sold during the month.

Only 75 homes sold in March, the fewest number of sales for a month in 11 years, an indication of buyer reluctance despite lower list prices. The previous low — 143 sales — was set last March.

That’s an interesting article, and it has more sales data from the aforementioned Gary Ganges, who I talked about briefly in my blog entry from yesterday. According to the article:

Ganges doesn’t specifically track REOs but he found 12 of the 28 homes sold in Watsonville in January, February and March were bank-owned.

Only 12 of 28? Hmm, that seems a little low to me. I do specifically track REOs, all the time, because that’s where the best bargains are to be had, and I’m always looking to find my clients the best deal possible. I just did a search, and I looked at all closed sales since the beginning of the year (up til now, mid April). I included Watsonville and the outlying areas (but not north Monterey county), and counted houses, condos, and multi-residential properties (actually, I don’t think any multi-res sold in that time period). My findings?

There were 35 sales of such properties since the beginning of the year. Of those, two were short sales, and twenty-two (22!) were bank-owned REO real estate. Actually, I’m surprised the number isn’t a bit higher. It should be noted that a few of the others that sold were in the city of Watsonville’s affordable housing program, and there was one Measure J property.

Sigh. Welp, I’m off to my office meeting. Keep up the good work everyone!

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