SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Some are calling it the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. A new report shows the California housing market is finally recovering.
The number of homes going into foreclosure has plunged to a 7 year low.
Longtime realtor Steve Epstein has a lot of experience dealing with foreclosures, and he's seeing a dramatic shift.
"Last year at this time, it was ninety percent of my business. It's not ten percent of my business now," he said.
Santa Barbara wasn't as affected by the housing market crash as many other areas in the state--including North county where the number of foreclosures far surpassed those in the South.
"In Santa Barbara, we are built out. There's no where to go. It's a supply and demand thing. Places like Santa Maria that were allowed to build, got harder hit," Epstein explained.
A new report says even those hardest hit areas are feeling some relief.
According to real estate research firm, Data Quick, the number of loans going into default have gone down more than fifty percent in the past year.
The report credits the improving economy and new laws protecting homeowners.
"Really the bulk of the laws had to do with forcing the banks to have a dialogue with people, in a meaningful amount of time. If there was an ability to save their house, they could," said Epstein.
He says he's worked with clients who've been on the brink of losing their homes, but were saved at the last minute.
According to Data Quick, the median home price in California is up more than 22 percent from just a year ago.