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Foreclosing in on Alameda

Submitted by on 1, April 24, 2008 – 7:30 amNo Comment

The Chronicle wrote up DataQuick’s most recent real estate report the other day, and I don’t think it’ll be any surprise to you that the news was, uh, not good. The scary thing is that the Chronicle’s data is limited to homes in the final stage of the foreclosure process, so it only offers a hint of the where we’re at right now.

The Chronicle shows 27 foreclosures on the Island in 2007, and six through mid-March of this year, putting us on track for similar (or even slightly lower) numbers in 2008. But other data show a bleaker picture. Yahoo’s real estate page, with data from RealtyTrac (which kind of ghoulishly bills itself as “the nation’s #1 source of foreclosure listings), shows 97 homes that have gone into some state of foreclosure over the past month. Two-thirds of them are in pre-foreclosure, meaning the homes’ owners have missed payments and could still make the payments or work out some kind of deal with the bank and stay in their home. But the other third are homes that are either headed for public auction or owned by the bank outright.

Yet another site, ZipRealty, shows a dozen properties in Alameda that are on the market as “short sales,” meaning the owner owes more on the house than it is worth and is trying to sell it for its current value, hopefully with the bank’s blessing, to avoid foreclosure. And wrapping back to DataQuick, their new numbers show that homes in Alameda are selling for 10 percent less than they were last year.

Still, we’re not as bad off as many other California cities and most of the rest of the county. Per DataQuick, homes in Alameda sold at higher prices on average last month than everywhere in the county but Pleasanton (though to be fair, high-priced Piedmont didn’t have any sales listed for March). And according to Yahoo, California cities claim six of the top 10 spots on the list of places with the worst foreclosure rates; Merced tops the list, which includes Stockton, Modesto, Sacramento, Riverside and headed-for-bankruptcy Vallejo.

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