STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Some mixed news on the housing front today. Nationwide, sales of previously-owned homes fell slightly in June. Meaning home sales will probably will push the year to the worst since the housing bust. But foreclosures in the state of California dropped to their lowest level since 2007. The number of default notices that have gone out in the state fell by 20 percent over the same time a year ago. Kenneth Rosen is a Housing Economist from the University of California Berkeley. Good morning.
KENNETH ROSEN: Good morning
CHIOTAKIS: Why the foreclosure slow down in California?
ROSEN: I think we’re starting to see the problem foreclosures ebb, we’ve hit a peak this past year. The number of foreclosures are down substantially from California and all around the country. It doesn’t mean the problem is over yet, millions of people are facing this problem, but the number of new people going into foreclosure, the new delinquencies as the economy has recovered and the housing prices have stabilized.
CHIOTAKIS: Is it because of the economy? Is that what’s driving this?
ROSEN: I think that’s the main thing, there’s a little bit of an issue still with the servicers still going through negotiations with the government of how to deal with some of these, so some of it may be fundamental, it may be a little administrative, but I think much of it fundamentals are getting better. We’re bottoming out of the housing market without question.
CHIOTAKIS: Is this all temporary just a blip you think, it does take some, right? for the soft patches to trickle into the housing market.
ROSEN: Right. Well, I don’t think we’re in a soft patch in terms of the economy. I think it’s a choppy growth. The numbers one quarter are better, one quarter are worse, but we’re in a period of sustained but choppy growth. Not a fast recovery, but a moderate choppy recovery. And the housing market has been through five horrible years. It’s beginning to show signs of very, very small bottoming. It’s not a big recovery but it’s a beginning of a bottoming.
CHIOTAKIS: Kenneth Rosen, Housing Economist from U.C Berkeley, Kenneth, thank you.
ROSEN: Thank you very much.
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