Across the Sacramento region, foreclosure filings during the first quarter of 2012 dropped by nearly 13 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011 and by more than 16 percent from the first quarter last year, according to a report released today by RealtyTrac.
The figures mirror a nationwide slowdown in foreclosure filings during the first quarter of 2012. Filings -- including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- hit their lowest quarterly total since the fourth quarter of 2007, the company said in its latest U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.
But the slowdown is likely just a temporary reprieve, the company’s leader said.
“The low foreclosure numbers in the first quarter are not an indication that the massive reservoir of distressed properties built up over the past few years has somehow miraculously evaporated,” said Brandon Moore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
“The dam may not burst in the next 30 to 45 days, but it will eventually burst, and everyone downstream should be prepared for that to happen,” Moore said in a news release.
The so-called shadow inventory of an estimated 1.6 million troubled properties gets much of the blame for depressed housing prices, even as mortgage rates and inventory remain at nearly all-time lows.
Nationally, first quarter foreclosure filings were reported on 572,928 properties in the quarter, down 2 percent from the previous quarter and down 16 percent from the first quarter of 2011, RealtyTrac said.
California had 133,245 properties with foreclosure filings in the first quarter -- the highest total of any state -- and accounted for 23 percent of U.S. foreclosure activity, it said.
In the four-county Sacramento region, there were a total of 11,385 foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2012, compared with 13,022 in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 13,606 in the first quarter a year ago.
Yolo County saw a nearly 30 percent year-over-year decrease in foreclosure filings from the first quarter of 2011. El Dorado County came in second with a 23 percent year-over-year decrease. Placer fell 18 points and Sacramento County dropped by about 14 percent.