Foreclosure rates increase in pricier OC enclaves

 By greg.magnus On May 2, 2010 Orange County Local News Network

LAGUNA BEACH — The number of home foreclosures continues to mount in the more-expensive enclaves of Orange County, but is decreasing in less-affluent neighborhoods, it was reported today.

 According to media reports, for areas dominated by inexpensive homes, the foreclosure rate fell 12.3 percent in the first quarter of this year, as compared to the first quarter of 2009. Conversely, the foreclosure rate for more-expensive neighborhoods has increased 12 percent in the similar period.

La Jolla-based MDA Dataquick used the median home price in each zip code, and set the dividing line between affordable and affluent at a $500,000 median home price.

The beach cities of Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, San Clemente, Dana Point and Huntington Beach were among towns with the highest percentage increases in foreclosures in the state.

The biggest percentage gain in foreclosures occurred in Newport Beach’s 92660 zip code, encompassing the Back Bay and other neighborhoods. Lenders seized eight homes in that area, up from two in the first quarter of 2009.

The homes in tony new subdivisions in the Ladera Ranch area had the county’s highest foreclosure rate, as 8.3 foreclosures were in process per thousand homes. Rancho Santa Margarita had a foreclosure rate of 4.4 per 1,000 homes; Aliso Viejo had a rate of 3.8 per 1,000.

That compares to a county-wide average of just 2.8 foreclsoures per thousand homes.

Home foreclsoures are “definitely a trend that is moving toward the coastline,” Steve High, a Coldwell Banker luxury-home agent based in Newport Beach. “The notice of default list is at the highest rate that I’ve seen in 25 years.

And the wave of foreclosure filings against pricey homes, generally near the ocean, may not have crested yet, High told the an Orange County newspaper. “There are many people out there who haven’t paid their mortgages in months.”

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