Not all areas of the country were severely affected by the mortgage crisis that began in early 2007. I wish we could say that Sonoma County was spared, but it wasn't. Around the Summer of 2007, we started seeing a lot of foreclosed properties hit the market.
At that time, our MLS didn't have a data field where we could specify that a property was distressed. In early 2008, our MLS added two sale condition fields for our listings, REO and Short Sale. As such, the number of REO and Short Sales sold in 2008 are understated in this chart, but it gives you an idea of the number of distressed property sales we had in Sonoma County between 2008 and 2015.
In 2008, 2009 and 2011 the number of REO and Short Sales combined outnumbered traditional sales. Beginning in 2012, Sonoma County began its recovery from the foreclosure crisis where so many lost their homes. In 2015, there were only 240 distressed sales compared to 5,293 traditional sales.
We still hear from buyers who are interested in buying a foreclosure. No doubt they have heard stories about the "good deals" that were out there. Foreclosures are still available for sale in Sonoma County, you can find them on the advanced property foreclosure search.