The number of foreclosures in the state of California declined rapidly in the first quarter as the market grew more comfortable with quick short sales, DataQuick said in a report Tuesday.
The San Diego-based research firm recorded 56,258 notices of default at county courthouses in the first quarter, down 8.5% from 61,517 in the previous period and down 17.6% from 68,239 notices a year earlier.
"Prices peaked five years ago and then started to fall off a cliff," said John Walsh, president of DataQuick. "Foreclosure activity goes up when property values decline, and the worst of that decline was happening three years ago. Right now, property values in many areas appear flat."
The banks involved in the most formal foreclosure procedures in California during the first quarter included Bank of America (BAC) (10,419), Wells Fargo (WFC) (7,577), Bank of New York Mellon (BK) (5,380) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) (5,343).