Foreclosure Activity Hits Lowest Level Since 2007

Foreclosures

Foreclosure filings hit their lowest level in more than four years in the first quarter, according to a report from foreclosure data aggregator RealtyTrac.

Default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions were filed on 572,928 properties in the first quarter, or one in every 230 U.S. housing units — the lowest number of filings since fourth-quarter 2007, when 527,740 properties received filings.

Last quarter’s foreclosure activity was down 2 percent from the fourth quarter and 16 percent from first-quarter 2011. March accounted for nearly 38 percent of the quarter’s foreclosure activity, with 198,853 properties receiving filings. That was the lowest monthly total and the first under 200,000 since July 2007, the report said.

On an annual basis, foreclosure activity fell 17 percent in March.

“The low foreclosure numbers in the first quarter are not an indication that the massive reservoir of distressed properties built up over the past few years has somehow miraculously evaporated,” said Brandon Moore, RealtyTrac’s CEO, in a statement.

“There are hairline cracks in the dam, evident in the sizable foreclosure activity increases in judicial foreclosure states over the past several months, along with an increase in foreclosure starts in many judicial and nonjudicial states in March.

“The dam may not burst in the next 30 to 45 days, but it will eventually burst, and everyone downstream should be prepared for that to happen — both in terms of new foreclosure activity and new short-sale activity.”

States that use the nonjudicial foreclosure process lead the nationwide decline in foreclosure activity, RealtyTrac said. Those 24 states and Washington, D.C., saw foreclosure activity drop 8 percent from the fourth quarter and 28 percent from first-quarter 2011.

Several nonjudicial states saw significant year-over-year drops in activity in the first quarter: Arkansas (79 percent), Nevada (62 percent), Washington (55 percent), Arizona (41 percent), Texas (31 percent), and California (21 percent).

By contrast, foreclosure activity rose 8 percent quarter to quarter and 10 percent year over year in the 26 states that mainly use the judicial foreclosure process.

Judicial states that posted some of the biggest annual increases include Indiana (45 percent), Connecticut (38 percent), Massachussetts (26 percent), Florida (26 percent), South Carolina (26 percent), Pennsylvania (23 percent).

 

By Michael Angelina

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Michael Angelina
Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors – Society Hill
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Michael Angelina

Philadelphia Realtors & Real Estate Agents

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