San Diego Property Auction in San Diego Yields $3.5 Million Dollars.

San Diego Property Auction sold off more than 60 properties that were owned by delinquent taxpayers.

656 Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach sold at public auction for $472,000.
656 Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach sold at public auction for $472,000.

San Diego County has auctioned off more than 60 properties that belonged to delinquent taxpayers, raking in nearly $3.5 million, said the tax collector’s office on Monday.The purpose of the annual auction, which was held last week, is to recover unpaid property taxes and pay lenders and creditors, said San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister.The parcels belonged to people who hadn’t paid their taxes for five years.2008 marked the height of the county’s foreclosure crisis. Residential foreclosures peaked July 2008 at more than 2,000 in the county, DataQuick numbers show.”We find ourselves in a unique position in the status of the economy,” McAllister said. “These are properties, in many cases, that have come to us by way of a down economy.”

The amount raised at auction this year reached at least a five-year peak mainly because higher-quality homes and land parcels hit the auction block, McAllister said.

Sales rose nearly 30 percent from last year, from 48 to 62, but the year-over-year increase in money recovered increased 131 percent, from $1.5 million to almost $3.5 million.

Records show the priciest property, a house in Imperial Beach, sold for $472,000. Last year, the most expensive sale was about $425,000, McAllister said. Typical buyers are investors, some of whom flip several properties at a time.

The nearly $3.5 million brought in this year will cover roughly $876,000 in unpaid taxes for the sold parcels, the administrative costs of putting on the auction and payments to any parties who are owed money, including lenders and other creditors.

Unsold parcels may be sold at another time, either online or at a future auction.

Because the foreclosure crisis — which affected homeonwers of all price ranges — stretched beyond 2008, the county may see more higher-quality, delinquent properties coming to auction within the next three years, McAllister said.

But that hinges largely on the state of the economy, he added. If it continues to recover, then more people may be able to catch up on their property-tax payments and fewer properties will be auctioned off.

The next county auction is set for June, when up to 500 delinquent timeshares could be up for sale.

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