Thursday, July 17, 2008

Foreclosures in the Portland area and central Oregon top 2002's dot-com drop

Ryan Frank has an interesting look at Foreclosure's in today's Oregonian:

Anyone who has been reading this blog knows that while foreclosure's here aren't YET as bad as some other areas, they are accelerating quickly. But this is an interesting comparison to the last recession.

Mortgage defaults in the Portland area and central Oregon rose 97 percent in the first half of 2008, compared with a year ago.

That's not too surprising considering homeowners in 2007 still enjoyed the tail end of the housing boom, and the housing market is now in full swoon.

What's more surprising is the number of defaults -- typically the first step of a foreclosure -- through June 30 rose far higher than at the peak of the last downturn in 2002, according to records in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and Deschutes counties. Those cover the Portland area and the peak-growth Bend region.

Roger Erickson sums it up:

"We're just seeing the tip of the iceberg," said Roger Erickson, a principal broker at Americana Properties Inc. "It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better."

Lenders hire Erickson to sell properties they've taken back from borrowers in foreclosures.

Erickson said he had five foreclosures to sell in early 2008.

Today, he has 22.

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