National Foreclosure Starts Plummet To New Low, Mirror Silicon Valley Growth Trends

Silicon Valley real estate has seen a surge in new real estate listings selling for $1 million or more. While the market is still volatile, there is undoubtedly a shift in the housing market all the way down to the number of homeowners defaulting on their mortgage payments. Foreclosure starts filed on 77,494 U.S. properties in November record a 71-month low and the lowest level since December 2006, says a foreclosure report from RealtyTrac. This decrease represents a 13% drop from October and a 28% decrease from November 2011. This significant drop in foreclosure starts is reflective across 28 states including California, which saw a 63% decrease. This drop subsequently decreased the number of foreclosure filings overall, which includes scheduled auctions, default notices and bank repossessions. Filings were reported on 180,817 U.S. properties in November and fell 3% from October and 19% from a year ago. This month’s decline marks the 26th straight month of annual decreases in foreclosure filings.

Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac says that the foreclosures may still make a comeback. “We’re likely not completely out of the woods when it comes to foreclosure starts, either, as lenders are still adjusting to new foreclosure ground rules set forth in the National Mortgage Settlement along with various state laws and court rulings,” he added. While foreclosure filings and starts were on the decline, bank repossessions are on the rise. In November, 59,134 properties became bank repossessions (REOs), which was an increase of 11% from October and 5% from a year ago. In Florida, 1 in every 304 housing units received a foreclosure filing, the highest foreclosure rate among any other state. The national average indicates that every one in every 728 housing units received a foreclosure filing in November.

While the country inches towards recovery of a tarnished housing market, Silicon Valley is well on its way to reclaiming its spot as the top luxury-real estate leader. Northern California real estate, specifically Silicon Valley, currently leads the nation in number of homes sold for $1 million or more. Some Silicon Valley communities have seen sales of million dollar homes double this year. Homes for sale in Saratoga topped the list with 225 homes sold for $1 million or more. Burlingame, Cupertino and Los Altos followed with 211, 175 and 170 homes, respectively. Blomquist says, “Silicon Valley is one of those hyperlocal markets that are just very strong right now.” Silicon Valley is going to continue seeing a surge in growth in 2013, which includes new construction properties and exclusive homes for sale in the Bay Area.