Stockton is Ground Zero of the national foreclosure crisis no more, this story says. The city’s long nightmare of foreclosure and of a city government starved of property tax is winding down.
—2013 legal filings plunged by more than half from 2012.
—We dropped from Ground Zero to “Ground 25,” the 25th most-foreclosed metropolitan area. Stockton has receded into the mid-ground of the problem.
—The 3,900 foreclosure filings in 2013 were peanuts compared to 2008, when Stockton saw over 21,100 filings.
So it’s ending. As the market clears out foreclosures, 2014 looks to be a great year for home appreciation. That’s good for Stockton homeowners and for city government alike. Homeonwers get more equity. City Hall gets more property tax revenue. More revenue means more services: fire, libraries, roads, you name it. A better city life.
What we’re looking at here is a shift from an existential economic crisis back to the low-grade fever of the Central Valley’s weak economy. But I’ll take the latter over the former any day. Ground Zero was a Great Depression. The regular economy presents challenges, but also opportunities we couldn’t dream of when Stockton led the nation in foreclosures.