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Super-Jumbo Foreclosures Surge

Increase comes despite decline on overall foreclosures

Dec. 4, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

The number of super-jumbo mortgages that have been foreclosed has soared over the past year, though the problem might not be as bad as it sounds.

The number of residential properties that were hit with a foreclosure filing in October was down more than a third from a year earlier.

Since the beginning of this year, foreclosure activity on U.S. properties has fallen 23 percent through Oct. 31.

But the story is different for super-jumbo loans, according to a report from RealtyTrac.

On properties valued at $5 million and up, RealtyTrac said that foreclosure activity has soared 61 percent between October 2012 and October 2013.

More than 60 percent of year-to-date super-jumbo foreclosures were on properties located in California and Florida -- states with many high-value coastal properties. Still, super-jumbo foreclosures in California have declined from a year earlier -- suggesting the problem is primarily in the Sunshine State.

"The number of these ultra high-end properties with a foreclosure notice in 2013 is relatively miniscule -- fewer than 200 compared to 1.2 million total properties in all value ranges with foreclosure notices this year -- but each of these high-value homes represents a much bigger potential loss for the foreclosing lender compared to a median priced home," the report stated.

But RealtyTrac noted that the trend might just suggest that mortgage lenders are now financially stable enough to withstand the larger losses that these properties could cause.

Another factor is the improving housing market that suggests more potential buyers are available to purchase such high-ticket homes.

In addition, RealtyTrac speculates that super-jumbo borrowers might have had the means to forestall foreclosure for longer than conforming borrowers.

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