The California Association of realtors reported this week that sales to third parties, typically investors, rose significantly in January, according to a report by ForeclosureRadar. California saw the most activity, with investors purchasing 3,964 properties for $766.2 million. This is the fourth largest month on record in California, and the busiest since March of 2011.
Despite what appears to be significant percentage increases in foreclosure starts in California, Nevada and Washington, these increases barely offset the declines seen over the holidays. Compared with January one year ago, foreclosure starts are significantly lower.
“January’s numbers should put to rest any notion that we will see a wave of foreclosures in 2012, at least in the western states that we cover,” stated Sean O’Toole, founder and CEO of ForeclosureRadar. “Foreclosure Starts remain near record low levels, significantly lower than a year ago, when many banks still had self-imposed moratoriums in place due to the robo-signing scandal. Add to that a foreclosure timeframe of more than 8 months, and there is little chance of a wave this year even if all the banks started the foreclosure process en masse tomorrow.”
In January, foreclosure starts in California rose 15.5 percent and foreclosure sales increased 14.6%.