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Manteca foreclosures up 189%
One in five Lathrop homes taken back by lenders
The number of foreclosed homes going to auction in Manteca is expected to start slowing down later this year. - photo by Bulletin file photo
Four perspective buyers within 10 minutes Saturday pulled up to the California flat-top at 921 Marin in the Powers Tract neighborhood sandwiched between Manteca High and Spreckels Park.
The home is heading for auction next month. It is a three bedroom, one bathroom house with 1,094 square feet listed for $109,900. The roof was new within the past several years. The buyer who lost the home to foreclosure had given it fresh paint, added a water filtration system, put in custom concrete, wrought iron fencing with a security gate, added Pergo flooring and upgraded landscaping.
One gentleman, clutching a list of auction homes, declined to give his name but said he figured 2009 may well be his last chance to go from renter to homeowner in Manteca.
His sentiments reflect those of Manteca lenders and real estate agents who have been in business for a decade or more and are tracking foreclosures. All default tracking indications point to 2008 as well as the first six months of 2009 as being the peak of the foreclosures with a drop off starting in the second half of the year.
It mirrors RealtyTrac findings for 2007 and 2008 in Manteca, Ripon, Lathrop and Tracy where the first subprime loans were made as housing prices started climbing in late 2003 to levels that were unattainable for many buyers using conventional loans.
There were 399 homes lost to foreclosure within Manteca’s city limits in 2007. That jumped to 1,153 – or up 189 percent – in 2008. And unlike in 2007 when buyers many were paralyzed by uncertainty prompting the number of available listings to balloon to a record 651 available homes in September 2007, buyers started coming out in force in March of last year resulting in a record 1,165 existing homes being sold at a median price of $225,000 or $188,000 off the market’s peak in 2006. By comparison, there were just 402 existing home sales in Manteca during 2007.
The Multiple Listing Service this month reflects a change of course for Manteca. For most of 2008 the median price of pending sales was lower than the median selling price. The pending median price is $5,000 higher which may reflect segments of the market stabilizing and ending price free fall. That is especially true in the absolute bottom where more people can qualify to buy homes as they are the lowest prices.
As of last week, 34 homes had closed escrow in Manteca this year with a median selling price of $179,950. There are 195 pending sales with a median deal price of $184,900. There are another 389 homes available with a median listing price of $198,000.
There were more foreclosures in the 95337 Zip Code – 690 – than in the 95336 where 463 homes reverted back to the lenders. Even so, the two sub-areas in Manteca lost almost the same number of homes per 1,000 (65.8 in 95336 and 65.9 in 95337) as the northern Zip Code area has more homes overall.
A little less than 1 in 11 Manteca single family homes were lost to foreclosure between 2007 and 2008.  By comparison over 1 in 5 homes in Lathrop during the same time period were lost to foreclosures and 1 in 50 in Ripon.
Lathrop’s foreclosure rate in 2008 jumped 272.4 percent with 715 homes lost in 2008 compared to 192 in 2007.
Ripon’s foreclosure rate last year was up 122.2 percent over 2007 going from 54 homes to 120 homes.
Even with efforts to help people avoid foreclosure, less Manteca homeowners who received the notice of default — the first step in the foreclosure process — ended up keeping their homes and not losing them to the lender.
There were 606 notices of default in Manteca that didn’t end up as foreclosures. That compares to just 282 in 2008 that avoided going back to the bank.
Experts attribute that to a number of things including homes that received notices of default in 2007 may have gone into foreclosure in 2008 as well as sold as a short sale in 2008.
It wasn’t until early 2008 that most banks started slashing both the price of foreclosed homes they took back or else started making short sales work in a number of cases. Short sales occur when banks allow distressed borrowers to sell homes for less than they are owed. Very little of the 2007 notices of defaults were believed to have been worked out with new loans through lenders working with distressed borrowers. Experts say the majority of the 2008 homes that avoided foreclosure either had deals worked out with new loans or were short sales.