San Diego Foreclosure Listings; Volumes Speak Louder Than Words

By: philip smith

An image of turbulent times is projected by San Diego foreclosure listings. Although it is possible to err when generalizing since not all zip codes perform the same way, the San Diego market is in deep and troubled water. Low sales volumes and high numbers of foreclosures have swollen the supply of unsold property to an average of 14 months. Coastal San Diego has fared just a little better with a lower supply than elsewhere in the region. In August the numbers of notices of default issue were higher than sales recorded. Most sellers face losing equity if they must sell their homes, many buyers hold off in a market which is in their favor in case they too lose equity soon after purchase. There are obvious large falls in entry level housing prices, and it is impossible to predict when prices will stop the downward slide.

The median priced family home has long been beyond the reach of the average San Diego resident. The increase in sub prime loans offerings after 2001 masked the damage until recently, many home owners took on mortgage commitments that they could never otherwise afford to get into housing that certainly wasn't affordable without the riskier loans, so increasing demand and pushing prices up further. In a reaction to the flood of foreclosures, the sub prime product has disappeared from the market this year, yet another negative factor affecting the number of buyers this season.

Will home prices in San Diego ever become affordable again? Unlikely in the short term, some estimate around 9% of residents earn over $75,000 a year (median income $62,000). With an average for a foreclosure home sale of around $350,000 (after a discount of 25%), even these homes seem well out of reach. What a huge investment opportunity for a well informed foreclosures buyer.

Foreclosure listings are the perfect tool to allow the investor to apply his parameters and cut down the initial workload of the targeted search. San Diego is the second largest city in a populous state, and the eight largest in the nation with around 1.3 million people. With around 2,800 notices of default a month and well over 7,000 active foreclosure listings to sort through, a reliable online database is not an option. Estimates are that 28% of the listings represent vacant property - fresh listings, days on the market and occupancy history are vital pieces of information needed for decision making. Foreclosure listings not only express volumes about the San Diego housing market, they yield the nuggets.

Foreclosures
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