FilAms Losing Homes in Daly City

by Cynthia Flores/

LOS ANGELES – A real estate research firm reported March 30 that Daly City, where immigrants make up 53% of the population, has the highest number of foreclosures in San Mateo County. Affected homeowners are said to be mostly Filipinos and Hispanics who have never owned a home before.

Almost 30 percent of the county’s homes taken back by lenders and put up for sale in February were in Daly City, according to an Examiner analysis of a recent report from, a Web site that tracks foreclosure rates in California. The Daly City figures followed another report from the site indicating that foreclosure auction sales have more than doubled in San Mateo County in February over a year earlier, though sales have slowed since January.

Known for its huge Filipino American residents, Daly City recently experienced a larger number of first-time buyers with limited resources and riskier loans.

“They were much more susceptible to getting into loans that they didn’t understand,” said John Gieseker, a San Bruno broker with Prudential California Realty. “Immigrants have seen it as very important to own your own home because it’s a greater level of security, so they would push harder to buy something.”

The city known as “the gateway to the Peninsula” also had twice as many foreclosed homes than San Mateo, a city of comparable size with a higher median income and a smaller immigrant population, according to DataQuick, a real estate research firm.

Local housing experts said some immigrants were not given enough information about the risk they were taking and others were specifically targeted by predatory lenders.

Most foreclosures and default notices were concentrated around Mission Street, on the coast west of Skyline Boulevard and near King Drive at the city’s southern border.

“Everybody wants to live here because of our proximity to San Francisco,” Daly City Filipino American Councilmember and past mayor Mike Guingona said. “We can’t punish those people for wanting a piece of the American dream — we should accommodate them.”


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