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Monday, May 16, 2022

The Numbers

Sure, it’s well known there’s a shortage of homes that has slowed sales, but there are good signs in the local residential real estate market, including rising prices. But there is a disturbing number that is clouding the picture in the San Fernando Valley: a rising number of notices of default. The notices, which are the first stage in the foreclosure process, rose more than 28 percent in the first quarter to 859, compared to 669 in the first quarter last year, according to real estate data firm RealtyTrac in Irvine. It’s also a 19-percent increase from the fourth quarter. Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said lenders are moving ahead with foreclosures now that they have adjusted to the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, which took effect Jan. 1, 2013. “The homeowner’s bill of rights changed the landscape of how foreclosures could be done,” he said. “This is something we’ve been expecting. At this point it doesn’t seem to be a bubble-popping scenario.” Indeed, the number is still way down from prior to the bill’s passage when there were 2,085 notices of default in the Valley during the first quarter of 2012. Some of the communities seeing the largest uptick year-over-year are the priciest, which Blomquist said could be a result of recent homebuyers getting in over their heads again. Calabasas saw a 118 percent increase in the first quarter to 24, while they rose 95 percent in Tarzana to 37, and 58 percent in Woodland Hills to 49. Blomquist doesn’t necessarily see signs of trouble. He expects the notices to drop as the year progresses and the market stabilizes. – Elliot Golan

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