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Foreclosures Fall To Six-Year Low In California

— Home foreclosure activity in California fell to a six-year low in the final quarter of 2012. The falling foreclosure numbers are another sign that the housing market is rebounding.

Home foreclosure activity in California fell to a six-year low in the final quarter of 2012.

The number of California properties entering the foreclosure process dropped 38 percent from the final quarter of 2011 to the final quarter of 2012. In San Diego, the drop was 44 percent.

Dataquick tracks the real estate market in the United States. The company said lenders issued 38,000 default notices during the fourth quarter. Default notices are sent out when a borrower falls behind in his payments. It is the first step in a foreclosure process that lasts about nine months on average.

Several factors figured into the decline, including the improving economy, more short sales and a 20 percent jump in home values.

"When you have that strong an increase in home values, the number of homes that are candidates for foreclosure just decrease. Spectacularly. They just dry up," said John Karevoll of Dataquick.

Foreclosures were involved in just over 16 percent of all sales activity at the end of last year. That is down from a peak of 58 percent in 2009.

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