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Foreclosures Drop In Sacramento, Stockton

Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

The real estate monitoring service RealtyTrac found foreclosures in both cities dropped by nearly 60 percent.   

But, RealtyTrac analyst Daren Blomquist says the drops in foreclosures may have more to do with a new law called the "Homeowner Bill of Rights" than a real improvement in the markets.

Blomquist says so many bad loans have already been dealt with in California that the state could buck the national trend, but it's hard to tell.

"When we see that in other states, there is sometimes an extended period where foreclosure activity drops dramatically, but then that's often followed by a rebound in the number as the lenders adjust to the new way of doing," he says.

California is now 16th on the list for most foreclosures.  It has been in the top ten since the housing crisis began.  

Blomquist says Nevada has no Homeowners Bill of Rights. Reno had a 22-percent decrease.

Meanwhile, a real estate research firm says California home prices rose in December while scant inventories kept a lid on sales.

DataQuick said Wednesday that nearly 35,000 new and existing houses and condominiums sold last month, down 12 percent from the same period a year earlier. It was the lowest December tally in six years.

The median sales price was $365,000, up 1 percent November and up 22 percent from December 2012. It is the 13th straight month of annual gains above 20 percent, though prices have leveled off since summer.

Analysts say Nevada ended the year 2013 with the second-highest foreclosure rate in the country, even though foreclosure activity cooled down significantly from past years. 

RealtyTrac reports one in every 46 Nevada properties received a foreclosure filing in 2013. The report says about 25,000 Nevada homes were affected last year, down 78 percent from 2009, which was the peak year for filings.

Nevada foreclosure activity last year was down 21 percent compared with 2012.

Florida had the nation's highest foreclosure rate in 2013.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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