New California housing data released today show July was the fourth-consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in bank repossessions.
When researchers from RealtyTrac tally foreclosures, they look at both the start of the foreclosure process, when a property gets a notice of default, and the end, when a bank reclaims the property.
"Foreclosure starts are continuing to go down," says RealtyTrac's Daren Blomquist. "But these bank repossessions are still problematic and continuing to increase."
The numbers show banks repossessed 3,000 properties throughout the state last month; up 23 percent from a year ago. Blomquist says the repossessions will actually be good for the housing market.
"In a lot of parts of California there's not a lot of inventory," says Blomquist. "So these will provide more homes for sale."
Blomquist says most of the repossessed properties were likely tied to toxic mortgages and no-down payment loans that helped trigger the housing crisis. Meanwhile, foreclosure starts in July fell 25 percent from a year ago.