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Report: Most Bank Owned Homes Still Occupied

Julie Jacobson / AP
 

Julie Jacobson / AP

If you're trying to buy a house but haven't found much out there, a new report suggests why that might be the case in California.

Daren Blomquist is with the real estate research firm RealtyTrac. He says one reason for the relatively low-inventory of homes for sale in California is that 56 percent of all bank-owned properties are still occupied by the mortgage holders.

"Homeowners have a lot more confidence to stay in that home and potentially claim the foreclosure was done improperly or maybe just take advantage of the volume of foreclosures and stay in that home until the bank really forces them to leave."

And Blomquist says there are indications banks are getting more aggressive. Foreclosure starts between January and March increased by 10 percent compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the new RealtyTrac data show overall foreclosures during the first quarter in California were down by 24 percent from a year ago.