California Foreclosure Volume up 50%

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Foreclosure sales bounced back to levels not seen since robo-signing moratoriums went into effect last fall. With significant increases in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington; foreclosure sales rose both in terms of properties that went Back to the Bank and those Sold to Third Parties, typically investors. As a result Bank Owned Inventories (REO) increased everywhere except in Oregon where banks sold more homes then they took back.

“We have not seen this level of activity on the courthouse steps for months,” says Sean O’Toole, CEO and Founder of “The increase in foreclosures is just in time to provide a fresh supply of entry level homes for the spring home buying season.”

Notice of Trustee Sale filings were up 10.9 percent in January 2011 from the prior month, the first increase in six months. Foreclosure sales catapulted with a 56.2 percent increase in sales back to the bank and a 52.7 percent increase in sales to third parties on a month-over-month basis. Both banks and Third parties bought more properties in January 2011 than in any other single month since we began tracking Arizona foreclosure sales in August 2009.

Reversing a four month declining trend, Notice of Default filings rose 6.9 percent month-over-month in California, while Notice of Trustee Sale filings dropped 13.8 percent from the prior month. Foreclosure filings year-over-year show only mild change, with Notice of Default filings down 3.3 percent and Notice of Trustee Sale filings slipping just 1.4 percent from January 2010. Foreclosure sales skyrocketed from December, with 51.5 percent more sales Back to Bank and 52.8 percent more properties purchased by Third Parties, typically investors. Cancellations were up as well, rising 12.4 percent this month as compared to last which was the first time in six months that cancelations increased month-over-month.

Oregon saw a dramatic swing in activity on the courthouse steps, with an increase in sales Back to Bank of 33.4 percent. This was the first increase in foreclosure sales in four months. Similarly, Sales to Third Parties increased 70.0 percent from December. Despite the recent improvement, foreclosure sales remain well below where they were at this time last year down 39.0 percent from January 2010.

Following a two month slide, Washington saw an 8.9 percent rise in the number of Notice of Trustee Sales filed, down 30.0 percent from July 2010. Foreclosures sales jumped with the number of foreclosure sales that went Back to Bank climbing 54.0 percent and those Sold to Third Parties also increasing 23.0 percent from November to December.

Notice of Default filings increased 5.3 percent to begin 2011. Conversely, Notice of Trustee Sale filings dropped 22.2 percent month-over-month, but are still 31.7 percent up from a year ago. Activity on the courthouse steps increased for the second consecutive month, with foreclosure sales Back to Bank climbing 36.8 percent and Sales to Third Parties jumping 43.8 percent in January as compared to the prior month. There were more third party sales in January 2011 than any single month in 2010.

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