Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is the Market Stabilizing?

Well, there are conflicting opinions but in general most economist believe we are seeing some good signs of a recovery taking place. As we all know, the historical recession we have been experiencing since December 2007 (technically speaking) was created by the housing crisis, or more accurately, the Mortgage Crisis!

This weeks housing starts report for August shows some mixed data but also some good news that points to stabilization in the housing market... possibly. On a national level, new housing starts rose in August 1.5% from July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 598,000 according to the Commerce Department. which was mostly due to the volatile multi-family segment which rose 25.3% to 119,000 annual pace and reversing the previous months slight decline. Ground breaking for single family homes actually fell 3% in August after five months of increases!

Though the above reported numbers are good news and show signs of healing in the housing market, if compared to August 2008, the housing starts have declined by 29.6%... and August of 2008 was during the recession so was already down significantly from the previous year! Homeowners facing foreclosure continue to increase and there are more homes being sold as Short Sale, Foreclosure or REO (Real Estate Owned) than any other segment of homes.

As for unemployment... the Labor Department reported that new claims for jobless benefits fell by 12,000 last week to 545,000, the lowest since early July. However, there are still 6.23 Million jobless collecting unemployment and those numbers are continuing to increase. Here in California we are well into the double digits and expect to hit 12% before the year is over!

Continuing on the positive side, remember that improved housing starts and the stabilization of the housing market is the first step towards economic recovery! With new housing starts, new jobs are created, products are manufactured and purchased and our Gross Domestic Product improves!

On a more local note, the San Francisco East Bay Area housing inventory is down significantly over last year by 40%. New housing starts are mostly flat and many sellers of homes that are priced right are seeing multiple offers! The First Time Home Buyer Tax Incentive of up to $8000 is scheduled to run out December 1st and so many buyers are trying to find their home and close escrow before the November 30th deadline.

For more information on this and other real estate resources, visit my website at

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bay Area Foreclosure Down... Which is good, right?

Yes, it’s true… For the first time in at least four years! That is good news… or is it?

There are several stages of foreclosure or pre-foreclosure and post-foreclosure. The first stage (which is not reported and we have no public count) is 30/60/90 day late notices to homeowners who miss their mortgage payments. They are typically experiencing some form of distress. They may just lost a job, had a pay decrease, working hours reduced, health issues, a death in the family, or their mortgage may have reset to higher rate, known as an ARM or Adjustable Rate Mortgage. The second stage is what’s called Notice of Default or NOD in California. Other states have Lis Pendens which are public notices of default. The third and final stage of pre-foreclosure is Notice of Trustee Sale or NOT in California. If the default is not cleared prior to the trustee sale, the home is sold at auction and many times is bought back by the bank and becomes a bank owned property or what is referred to as an REO.

Once the home is owned by the bank, it is put on the market for sale as an REO property, usually at a lower price than what it would have sold for in a pre-foreclosure status. This is due to the fact that it is now a vacant property, sometimes having sat unattended for months or longer, the weeds are growing, the grass hasn’t been cut, the carpets are filthy, sometimes the kitchens are gutted and/or the home is in “less-than-ideal” quality and this drives the market prices down…

So, back to the original statement… are the numbers for August looking better? Well, yes it is a good sign that pre-foreclosure or NOD activity is down for August compared to July and Year over Year. However the Notice of Trustee Sales or NOD were UP 86% in Alameda County and UP 47% in Contra Costa County and UP in every Bay Area County (year over year).

What this all means is, we are not out of the woods yet and there will likely be more foreclosures coming on the market in the near future as only and estimated 12-25% of the loans in default (distressed properties) are being able to arrange a loan modification or sell their homes in a Short Sale or in some other way find a solution to clear the default.

For more information or a FREE REPORT, “Options for Homeowners” go to or go to my website

If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure or would just like more information and to hear about the local housing market conditions, come to our FREE Foreclosure Prevention Seminar on September 30th at the Hilton Pleasanton. Register online at or call 925-549-0714.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Free Foreclosure Prevention Seminar in Pleasanton


Tim Denbo, CDPE® and Suzan Gladieux, Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Pleasanton is holding a free Advanced Foreclosure Avoidance and Short Sale Seminar on Wednesday, September 30th, 6pm at The Pleasanton Hilton.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, nearly 10 percent of Americans are in foreclosure or in default on their mortgage.

Seven out of 10 homeowners who go into foreclosure end up there without having received any professional help. A licensed Realtor® like Denbo who has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation is uniquely qualified to help homeowners in financial trouble.

This free seminar will address:
• Current national and local market conditions
• What is a short sale?
• Why it is better than a foreclosure
• Why would a lender accept a short sale?
• The criteria for a short sale
• Alternatives to foreclosure other than a short sale

Experienced foreclosure avoidance and short sale Realtors are:
• Familiar with local market conditions
• Well-versed in the short sale process
• Knowledgeable about how to drive the short sale process
• Adept at talking to lenders
• Great communicators
• Problem solvers
• Decision-makers
• Educators

To register for the seminar, go online to or call Tim Denbo at 925-549-0714 or for more information, email: by September 15th. Seating is limited, advance registration is recommended.