Fresno County foreclosure filings have fallen to the lowest level since 2006, according to a year-end report released Thursday by RealtyTrac, a real estate data company.
But a last minute surge in foreclosure starts in December could be a sign “that lenders are gearing up for a spring cleaning of deferred distress (properties) in the first half of 2015 in some local markets,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
Last year, 3,671 Fresno properties received a foreclosure filing, down slightly by 9% from 4,054 properties in 2013, the report said.
It’s a drastic 75% decrease from Fresno’s foreclosure peak in 2009 when 14,974 properties were in some stage of foreclosure, the report said. In 2006, only 2,307 properties received a foreclosure filing.
Nationwide, the trend is similar although foreclosure activity peaked in 2010. The 2014 foreclosure numbers show a “market that is close to finding a floor and stabilizing at a historically normal level,” Blomquist said.
The change has flip-flopped the housing market in the Fresno and Clovis areas where traditional home sales now dominate the market instead of foreclosures.
Last year, foreclosures made up 9% of the 7,855 homes that sold in Fresno County, according to numbers provided by London Properties from the Multiple Listing Service. In 2013, foreclosures made up 16% of 8,430 houses sold.
Nonprofit housing organizations like the Community Housing Council of Fresno are now able to return to their original mission of providing homebuyer education instead of concentrating on foreclosure counseling.