Area’s foreclosed homes sell briskly, for less, at auction

Larry O. Doss Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Area’s foreclosed homes sell briskly, for less, at auction

ShareThisBy Jim Wasserman
jwasserman@sacbee.com
http://www.sacbee.com/business/story/1795749.html

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2009 - 12:00 am | Page 6B
A pair of out-of-town auction giants sold 190 more foreclosed homes in Sacramento on Sunday, earning $21 million for lenders that repossessed them for lack of payments, the firms said Monday.

Irvine-based Real Estate Disposition Corp. said it sold 162 Sacramento-area homes for $17.1 million. It was the latest event in a series of nine company auctions since June 2007 that have sold 1,912 capital-area foreclosed homes for $261.4 million, said REDC spokesman Rick Weinberg.

The firm’s high-energy Sacramento auctions, attracting an estimated mix of 70 percent owner-occupant buyers and 30 percent investors, have pulled in $66.9 million for lenders in 2007, $158.7 million in 2008 and $35.8 million so far in 2009, said Weinberg.

Sunday, Dallas-based Hudson & Marshall also sold 30 capital-area homes for $4 million. Its auction at the Radisson Hotel was the firm’s eighth in the capital since the foreclosure crisis began. Last year the company auctioned 200 homes in Sacramento, said spokeswoman Crystal Wright.

Weinberg said REDC has auctioned more than 6,500 bank-owned homes across Northern California in less than two years as defaults on subprime and other loans have combined with rising unemployment to drive up foreclosures. Hudson & Marshall auctioned 1,000 Northern California homes in 2008.

More than 34,000 households have surrendered keys to lenders in the past two years in Amador, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties, according to researcher MDA DataQuick. The firm is expected to release statistics this week showing a sharp rise in new notices of default, the first warnings of foreclosure issued when homeowners miss several monthly payments.

REDC’s sustained series of auctions reveals how home prices have declined. The firm’s first event at Cal Expo in June 2007 sold 107 homes for $26.5 million – an average of nearly $248,000. Sunday’s event sold 162 homes for an average of about $106,000.

Weinberg said prices vary with the types of homes.

"Some houses we’ve done in Sacramento and surrounding areas are just gorgeous. Others that we have, the properties aren’t as nice," he said.

Yet the general direction of bidding is obvious.

"Prices are going down," said Dave Webb, owner of Hudson & Marshall. His auctioneers averaged about $133,000 per house Sunday. The auction was part of an eight-city event that sold $42.5 million worth of Northern California real estate, said Wright.

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