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Old 10-28-2005, 02:50 PM
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Default Foreclosures in the Bay Area dipped to their lowest level in 14 years

Foreclosures in the Bay Area dipped to their lowest level in 14 years during the third quarter. Lenders sent a total of 2,006 default notices to homeowners in the nine-county region during the three months that ended Sept. 30 -- down 13 percent from the year-ago period and 6 percent from the second quarter, the real estate information firm DataQuick reported Thursday.

Brisk price increases across the Bay Area have helped keep foreclosures at rock-bottom levels, analysts said. As prices rise, even financially strapped borrowers can usually sell their homes at a profit.

In the Bay Area in September, the median price for a single-family house rose about 19 percent from last year to $646,000.

The region's highest quarterly default count came in the first quarter of 1996, when 6,803 defaults were filed.

In the most recent quarter, foreclosures rose in Southern California and California overall as price appreciation slowed.

A total of 7,625 notices of default were filed in Southern California in the third quarter, up 20 percent from the same quarter last year and 5 percent from the second quarter.

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