Bay Area could be bucking foreclosure trend


Data from RealtyTrac now projects 1 million foreclosures across the country this year. That number was closer to 100,000 per year before the housing market collapsed.

However, the numbers are looking good in the Bay Area and the rest of California who is for once, doing better than the rest of the nation. Nonetheless, the foreclosure problem is not gone. Even though the numbers are looking good, looks can be deceiving.

There are far fewer foreclosure signs in the Bay Area compared to last year at this time. Data at says the number of foreclosures in the Bay Area is down 41 percent so far in 2010. Foreclosures are also down 51 percent in Alameda County and 44 percent in Contra Costa County.

While some see it as a sign of real estate and economic recovery, Michael Reardon at Pacific Union International believes the banks are holding back a bundle of foreclosed properties so home prices do not go into free fall once again.

"They would prefer to drip these home foreclosures onto the market instead of dumping them all onto the market and kind of running the economy," he says. "It's the way they felt it was going to happen. We've barely even seen the drip into the market. Once these foreclosures come out, because they have to come out, there's going to be a little double dip I think."

Reardon's belief is supported by other experts who say the number of loans in some type of trouble continues to grow with some of those who have received modifications going into default again. Reardon says foreclosures have actually helped the market in a way.

"So, I think the foreclosures have helped. San Francisco was sky high, way, way, way, out of control, and I think the foreclosures really needed to reign it in a little bit," he says. "I'm just worried this second batch, they've held on so long, it breaks down even deeper."

Others disagree with Reardon, pointing out that the number of bank-owned properties saw a year-to-year decline suggesting that lenders may be clearing up a backlog of foreclosures.

ABC7 has also learned that the number of canceled foreclosure sales set an all-time record last month. However, one expert says that is because the banks want to give people more of a chance with trial modification loans.

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