California Signaling A Housing Bottom? [Housing Tracker]

| About: Freddie Mac (FMCC)

Quotes Of The Day 

“California is having a wrenching decline in wealth, but this is a cathartic event that will lay the foundation for a recovery. This signals the beginning of the end.” - Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com.

“Half off in a decent neighborhood is close to the bottom.” - Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co.,  the world's biggest bond fund, referring to 50% home price declines in some parts of California. (Bloomberg, July 31st)

Foreclosure Data

Freddie Mac Doubles Financial Incentives to Servicers Who Help Borrowers Avoid Foreclosure. “Freddie Mac (FRE) today told mortgage servicers it was doubling the amount of money it pays for each workout that keeps a delinquent borrower with a Freddie Mac-owned mortgage out of foreclosure… Freddie also announced it will start reimbursing servicers for the cost of door-to-door outreach programs, give servicers more time to negotiate workouts in states with fast foreclosure processes, and make administrative changes intended to streamline the workout process… Freddie Mac's 0.86% single-family delinquency rate is a fraction of the most recent national single-family delinquency rate (6.35%) calculated by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.” (MarketWatch, July 31st)

California's Discount Foreclosure Sales Point to Housing Bottom. “Broker PMZ Real Estate: In Stockton, the U.S. metro area with the highest foreclosure rate, home sales more than doubled in Q2 after prices fell by an average 37%. California Association of Realtors: [Statewide] sales rose for three consecutive months starting in April after 30 straight months of declines. DataQuick Information Systems: About 40% of those transactions were foreclosure sales. Moody’s.com: Almost $1.3 trillion of homeowner equity was lost in California since December 2005. Anderson Forecast at UCLA: Discounts of as much as 50% will extend into 2010... RealtyTrac: California led the U.S. in default notices and bank seizures for the 18th straight month in June and had seven of the 10 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates.” (Bloomberg, July 31st)

Mass. Foreclosure Cases Plummet. “A new state law delaying property takings is working. Warren Group: There were just 350 new cases brought by lenders against delinquent homeowners last month, compared with 2,308 in June 2007… There was a similar decline in new proceedings in May. The drop is attributed to a state law that took effect May 1 [which] created a 90-day period in which homeowners can "cure" mortgage delinquencies by catching up on payments or finding a buyer… [Still,] Massachusetts is on track to have more than double the number of foreclosures this year than in 2007. Through H1’08, lenders had repossessed 6,707 residential properties, compared with 3,083 in H1’07.” (Boston Globe, July 31st)

Manatee County Clerk Begins Online Foreclosure Sales with Realauction. “Florida: R.B. Shore, Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, has selected RealForeclose by Realauction to begin sales of foreclosed property online. Shore has been proactive in reducing the paperwork involved and increasing the number of bidders participating as the leading reasons to embrace technology for foreclosure sales. More than 2,600 foreclosures [were] filed in Manatee County last year… The Clerk's staff will save time… by uploading documents once so all bidders will have simultaneous access to complete information for each case. Shore. "The more bidders we attract, the more likely the property will sell at the highest amount possible.” (MarketWatch, July 31st)

Foreclosure Rate Rising In Hennepin Suburbs. “Minneapolis: Home foreclosure activity in suburban Hennepin County continues to heat up, even as it cools off in Minneapolis. Foreclosure data for H1’08 show that the number of sheriff's sales jumped 59% in suburban Hennepin, compared with H1’07. But the number of sales is up only 20% so far this year in Minneapolis, and there are indications they are leveling off on the North Side, which has been the epicenter of the state's foreclosure crisis… The shift from Minneapolis to suburban districts comes just as the federal government has increased assistance to cities struggling with foreclosures.” (Star Tribune, July 30th)

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