At 56-Month Low, Under 200,000 Properties with Foreclosure
But Foreclosure Starts
Increase for Third Straight Month in March
Calif. – April 12, 2012 — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the
leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S.
Foreclosure Market Report™ for the first quarter of 2012, which shows
foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank
repossessions — were reported on 572,928 properties during the
quarter, down 2 percent from the previous quarter and down 16 percent from the
first quarter of 2011.
The first quarter total was the
lowest quarterly total since the fourth quarter of 2007, when 527,740 properties
with foreclosure filings were reported. The report shows one in every 230 U.S.
housing units with a foreclosure filing during the
Foreclosure filings were reported on 198,853 U.S.
properties in March, a 4 percent decrease from February and a 17 percent
decrease from March 2011. March’s total was the lowest monthly total since July
2007, and also the first monthly total below 200,000 since July
“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, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “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 non-judicial 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.”
foreclosure activity increases in first quarter
nationwide decrease in foreclosure activity was caused primarily by decreasing
activity in states that use the non-judicial
foreclosure process. These 24 states combined, along with the
District of Columbia, had 329,854 properties with foreclosure filings during
the quarter, more than half the national total — but a decrease of 8 percent
from the previous quarter and a decrease of 28 percent from the first quarter
Twenty non-judicial states registered year-over-year
decreases in foreclosure activity, led by Arkansas, with a 79 percent drop, and
Nevada, with a 62 percent drop. Recent legislation or court cases have
disrupted the normal foreclosure process in both these states. Other
non-judicial states with substantial year-over-year decreases in foreclosure
activity included Washington (down 55 percent), Arizona (down 41 percent),
Texas (down 31 percent), and California (down 21
Meanwhile foreclosure activity increased in states
that primarily use the judicial
foreclosure process. These 26 states combined accounted for 243,074
properties with foreclosure filings during the quarter, an increase of 8
percent from the previous quarter and an increase of 10 percent from the first
quarter of 2011.
Judicial states posting some of the biggest
year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity in the first quarter included
Indiana (up 45 percent), Connecticut (up 38 percent), Massachusetts (up 26
percent), Florida (up 26 percent), South Carolina (up 26 percent), and
Pennsylvania (up 23 percent).
starts increase for third straight month in
First-time foreclosure starts, either default
notices or scheduled
foreclosure auctions depending on the state’s foreclosure process,
increased 7 percent from February to March, the third straight monthly
increase. Foreclosure starts in March exceeded 100,000 for the first time since
November 2011, although they were still down 11 percent from March
States with the biggest monthly increases in
foreclosure starts included Nevada (up 153 percent), Utah (up 103 percent), New
Jersey (up 73 percent), Maryland (up 53 percent) and North Carolina (up 47
percent). Thirty-one states posted monthly increases in foreclosure starts in
Arizona post top state foreclosure rates
foreclosure activity decreased 26 percent from the previous quarter
and was down 62 percent from the first quarter of 2011, but the state still
posted the nation’s top foreclosure rate — one in every 95 Nevada housing units
had a foreclosure filing during the first quarter. Although Nevada had the top
foreclosure rate for the quarter, the state’s foreclosure rate slipped to
second highest among the states in March, after 62 consecutive months in the No.
1 spot. Arizona’s foreclosure rate was the nation’s highest state foreclosure
rate in March.
Although California default
activity increased from February to March — up 14 percent — the state’s overall
foreclosure activity in the first quarter was down on a quarterly and annual
basis. The California
foreclosure rate still ranked second highest among all states in the
first quarter, with one in every 103 housing units with a foreclosure
One in every 106 Arizona housing units had a
foreclosure filing in the first quarter, the nation’s third highest state
foreclosure rate. Arizona
foreclosure activity during the quarter was down 4 percent from the
previous quarter and was down 41 percent from the first quarter of
Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the
top 10 in the first quarter were Georgia (one in 119 housing units with a
foreclosure filing), Florida (one in 123), Illinois (one in 141), Michigan (one
in 162), Colorado (one in 191), Utah (one in 198) and Wisconsin (one in
California, Florida, Illinois post top
foreclosure activity totals
properties with foreclosure filings in the first quarter was the highest total
of any state and accounted for 23 percent of U.S. foreclosure activity during
Florida posted the second highest
state total, with 73,344 properties with foreclosure filings during the
foreclosure activity in the first quarter increased 4 percent from
the previous quarter and was up 26 percent from the first quarter of
foreclosure activity increased 17 percent from the previous quarter
and was up 14 percent from the first quarter of 2011, helping the state post
the nation’s third highest state foreclosure total in the first quarter: 37,660
properties with foreclosure filings.
Other states with
foreclosure activity totals among the nation’s 10 highest were Georgia
(34,234), Michigan (27,934), Arizona (26,956), Texas (23,807), Ohio (23,780),
Pennsylvania (12,746), and Wisconsin
Time to foreclose increases
nationwide, but down in key states
foreclosed in the first quarter took an average of 370 days to complete the foreclosure
process, up from 348 days in the previous quarter and the highest average
number of days going back to the first quarter of
timelines appear to be turning a corner in some bellwether states.
The average time to foreclose in California was 320 days, down from 352 days in
the previous quarter and the second straight quarterly decrease after 12
straight quarterly increases.
The average time to foreclose
also decreased in Colorado, Utah, Massachusetts, Nevada, Michigan and Maryland.
Despite the decrease, Maryland still posted the fifth longest time to
foreclose, 618 days. The states with the top four longest times to foreclose
were New York (1,056 days), New Jersey (966 days), Florida (861 days) and
Illinois (628 days).
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market
Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one
foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the month and
quarter — broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure filings entered into
the database during a month or quarter may have been recorded in previous
months or quarters. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide,
and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population.
RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of
foreclosure: Default — Notice
of Default (NOD) and Lis
Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale
and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real
Estate Owned, or REO
properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank).
For the quarterly report, if more than one foreclosure document is received for
a property during the quarter, only the most recent filing is counted in the
report. Both the quarterly and monthly reports check if the same type of
document was filed against a property previously. If so, and if that previous
filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where
the property is located, the report does not count the property in the current
month or quarter.
The RealtyTrac U.S.
Foreclosure Market Report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of
information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in
whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published,
distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user
specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of
the information set forth within the report.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is the
leading online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 2 million
default, auction and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, along
with detailed property, loan and home sales data. Hosting more than 3 million
unique monthly visitors, RealtyTrac provides innovative technology solutions
and practical education resources to facilitate buying, selling and investing in
real estate. RealtyTrac’s foreclosure data has also been used by the Federal
Reserve, FBI, U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and Banking Committee, U.S.
Treasury Department, and numerous state housing and banking departments to help
evaluate foreclosure trends and address policy issues related to
Jennifer von Pohlmann