California foreclosures at 6-year low

Another sign of a much-improved housing market. Fourth-quarter notices of default - the first step in the process - totaled 38,212 in California, down 22.1 percent from the prior three months and 37.9 percent from a year earlier, according to Dataquick. In L.A. County, filings were down 34.4 percent. This is what happens when home values begin rising: Fewer homeowners are underwater, which means they can sell off the mortgage as well as refinance. Foreclosures accounted for 16.6 percent of all California resale activity last quarter, down 33.6 percent a year ago (it peaked at 57.8 percent for the first quarter of 2009). These stunning declines are another reminder to be wary of know-it-all analysts, some of whom had been predicting wave-upon-wave of California foreclosures.

County/Region 2011Q4 2012Q4 Yr/Yr%

Los Angeles 12,355 8,100 -34.4%

Orange 4,297 2,169 -49.5%

San Diego 4,813 2,655 -44.8%

Riverside 6,014 3,887 -35.4%

San Bernardino 4,827 3,165 -34.4%

Ventura 1,437 728 -49.3%

Imperial 270 175 -35.2%

Socal 34,013 20,879 -38.6%

Source: DataQuick,

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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