Pre-Approved Short Sales

Sean and the folks at are very gracious in providing their data, though I don’t like this – fewer trustee sales, and more cancellations.

If the trend continues, we’ll have fewer REO listings, which are typically well-priced and vacant, and instead have more short-sales and loan modifications:

San Diego County Trustee-Sale Results

The bulk of the defaulting mortgages are from refinancings, which are full-recourse.  Are the lenders/servicers gearing up for The Big Collection?

Maybe not, and perhaps the opposite.  They could be anticipating HAFA, the latest foreclosure-avoidance device that encourages lenders and servicers to approve short sales, and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.  HAFA begins April 5th.

HAFA directs the servicers to pre-approve the short sale, prior to listing the home for sale. 

Once approved, the homeowner gets four months to sell the house, stalling any foreclosure proceedings, and then gets $1,500 for moving expenses.  It also looks like the homeowner get released from all liability too. 

Here are more details on HAFA, from Inside Mortgage Finance:


The Big Convergence

Who do you call once you realize you’ve been hacked?


Bryce was the first to email the news, and within 60 seconds I had Robert on the phone.  He was happy to oblige, and boom, here we are, right back in business!

Thank You Robert!

Our website designer Stefanie pitched in too, adding more security measures – if you ever need help designing your website, her contact info is at the bottom of the screen.


Let’s ponder the future – what can we expect for 2010 in North SD County Coastal?

1. More distressed properties for sale.

So far in the fourth quarter we’ve had 1,213 new listings in NSDCC, and 258 of them are short sales or REOs, or 21%.  The overall county 4Q stats are 43% short sales and REOs – we’re due to catch up with heavy activity expected on the ARM-recast chart. 

2. More short sales showing up on the court house steps.

The sellers have to cooperate fully, and in many cases it’s better for them to be foreclosed – expect more short sales to fail as a result.

3. More loan mods showing up on the court house steps.

The loan mod terms aren’t that much better, and the free rent was good while it lasted – are modders going to go back to making big payments?  Doubtful.

4. Banks/servicers unloading

It may not be a tsunami, but the drip has to at least turn into a slow meandering stream.  There have been 103 closings in the fourth quarter in NSDCC, but there are 872 properties that have received their notice of trustee sale!

5. Housing Tax Credit getting credit for sales activity.

Who knows if it helps, and there’s little benefit in the more expensive areas.  But it gives people something to talk about.

6. Chargers winning Super Bowl.

Let’s not get too hyped up, it’s only been 8 wins in a row, and Norv is still the coach.  But if a miracle happened, it would make people feel a little better.

7. Lower pricing

Forget 1-6, all that matters is number 7.

Take a look at the latest pricing from the court house steps, via youtube:

Finding Our Way

Cielo, a gated community at the edge of Rancho Santa Fe, has struggled to build sales momentum.

There are 26 active listings (this house is number 13th on the list), ranging from $1.595 to $7.999, and five contingent/pending listings currently, but only seven have closed over the last six months, averaging $301/sf:

The nine lots at the end were listed for $4+ million, but the listing expired.

Historic ’66

These new REO listings in the Covenant should help loosen up the stand-off between buyers and sellers in the Ranch.

When checking the sales in 92067, 92091, and Fairbanks, you could say sales have been a bit stagnant. In 2005 there were 253 houses that closed escrow between Jan. 1 and Oct. 30, and this year there have been 119 houses close YTD, a 53% decline.

Here’s the latest REO:

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