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The month of April saw 3,601 default notices and 1,512 trustee sale notices. The former indicate homeowners who’ve been put on notice for mortgage delinquency; the latter are sent to owners about to have their homes repossessed. Both are at all-time records.

The graph to the right presents a long-term look at such filings. To account for San Diego’s growth over the years, default notices and trustee sales notices (NODs and NOTs) are calculated as a percentage of San Diego’s labor force. Even after this adjustment, the graph makes clear that the current pace of foreclosure activity is leaving that of the 1990s housing downturn in the dust.

This record-breaking foreclosure activity is precisely what I was talking about last week when I noted that there is an important distinction between “want-to-sell” and “must-sell” inventory.

— RICH TOSCANO

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