Lenders sent out fewer default notices to Santa Clara County homeowners during the third quarter this year compared to the same period last year. Moreover, banks foreclosed on fewer houses and condominiums compared to the third quarter of 2009, according to MDA DataQuick.
The real estate information service reported a total of 2,244 default notices recorded in the county July through September. This number was down 44.4 percent from the third quarter of 2009, when 4,035 notices were recorded. Among the counties in the Bay Area, Santa Clara had the largest drop in notices of default.
Foreclosures in the county also fell from the same time last year. Trustees deeds recorded totaled 1,036 during the third quarter, down 16.2 percent from 1,237 in the third quarter of 2009.
Statewide, a total of 83,261 notices of default were recorded during the 2010 third quarter, up 18.9 percent from 70,051 in the prior quarter, but down 25.5 percent from 111,689 in the third quarter of 2009, according to DataQuick. Foreclosures peaked at 9,511 in the third quarter of 2008.
The report indicates that California’s high-end markets collectively saw mortgage defaults buck the marketwide trend and drop slightly quarter to quarter. The number fell slightly more on a year-over-year basis compared with the overall market. The concentration of defaults remains much higher in the less expensive areas.
“It’s anyone’s guess how the numbers will play out at year end,” said Jeff Bell, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors. “Many lenders aren’t keen on loan modifications, yet some have temporarily frozen or partially suspended foreclosures, so uncertainty continues and a full market recovery stalled.”
Foreclosure resales accounted for 35.5 percent of all California resale activity last quarter, down from a revised 35.8 percent the prior quarter, and down from 42.7 percent a year ago. The DataQuick report states that on primary mortgages, California homeowners were a median five months behind on their payments when the lender filed the notice of default. The borrowers owed a median $15,156 in back payments on a median $310,000 mortgage.
The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article.