Sunday, March 2, 2008

Foreclosure Reality Check

City Staff get Foreclosure Reality Check: On Thursday (2/28) Bay East staff made a presentation to the Tri-Valley Affordable Housing Committee on the status of homes in foreclosure. This committee includes housing deparment staff and elected officials from the cities of Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore. On their agenda was a discussion of "jurisdition responses" to foreclosures.

Bay East was invited to provide a fresh perspective on how foreclosures are impacting (or not) home sales in the Tri-Valley area. During the presentation we were able to show that while the number of foreclosures have increased in these communities they are nowhere near as siginificant as in other areas of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Bay East staff made the case that cities could best address the foreclosure issue by continuing to support (and fund) home ownership assistance programs to ensure that new home owners aren't getting into trouble in the first place.

REALTOR® Impact: REALTOR® concern about this issue is that local cities may adopt policies that could impact private property rights and the ability for homebuyers to secure financing. C.A.R. is tracking proposed state legisltation that would make it more difficult for banks to foreclose. At the same time, some cities in Southern California have considered local ordinances that would require banks to maintain foreclosed properties in an effort to maintain property values. These types of requirements could raise the costs of financing, impact the willingness of banks to make loans in these cities and, ulitmately, make home ownership less attainable.

Next Steps: There's not much a local city government can do regarding foreclosures since they have no jurisdiction over bank lending (and foreclosure) practicies. That said, some local leaders may still be looking to do something about foreclosures. We'll continue to provide information about how foreclousures are impacting the resale market and options city leaders can explore that won't negatively impact homeownership.

Compliments of the Government Affairs Director, Bay East Association of Realtors

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