Foreclosure Home News and Opinion March and First Quarter 2013 Foreclosure Market Report

U.S. Foreclosure Starts Edge Higher For Second Straight Month in March as Bank Repossessions Continue to Drop

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First Quarter Foreclosure Activity At Lowest Level Since Q2 2007
  Average Time to Foreclose Up to Record 477 Days Nationwide

IRVINE, Calif. – April 11, 2013 — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties and real estate data, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for March and the first quarter of 2013, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 152,500 U.S. properties in March, a decrease of 1 percent from the previous month and down 23 percent from March 2012.

The decrease in March helped drop first quarter foreclosure numbers to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2007. Foreclosure filings were reported on 442,117 U.S. properties in the first quarter, down 12 percent from the previous quarter and down 23 percent from the first quarter of 2012.

“Although the overall national foreclosure trend continues to head lower, late-blooming foreclosures are bolting higher in some local markets where aggressive foreclosure prevention efforts in previous years are wearing off,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Meanwhile, more recent foreclosure prevention efforts in other states have drastically increased the average time to foreclose, which could result in a similar outbreak of delayed foreclosures down the road in those states.”

High-level findings from the report

  • U.S. foreclosure starts increased 2 percent from February to March, the second straight monthly increase following three consecutive monthly decreases. There were a total of 73,113 foreclosure starts nationwide in March, still down 28 percent from a year ago.
  • Foreclosure starts in March increased from the previous month in 23 states and were up annually in 12 states, led by New York (200 percent increase), Maryland (193 percent increase), Washington (154 percent increase), Arkansas (101 percent increase), and Nevada (88 percent increase).
  • Lenders repossessed 43,597 properties nationwide in March, the lowest since September 2007. U.S. bank repossessions (REOs) in March decreased 3 percent from February and were down 21 percent from a year ago.
  • A total of 34 states reported annual decreases in REO activity in March, including Oregon (down 72 percent), Utah (down 71 percent), Massachusetts (down 61 percent), Michigan (down 56 percent), and Nevada (down 55 percent).
  • States bucking the national downward trend in REOs included Arkansas (up 121 percent annually in March), Maryland (up 114 percent), Washington (up 88 percent), Pennsylvania (up 41 percent), and Ohio (up 39 percent).
  • Properties repossessed by lenders in the first quarter took an average of 477 days to complete the foreclosure process, up from 414 days in the previous quarter and a record high since RealtyTrac began tracking this metric in the first quarter of 2007.
  • The average time to foreclose in the first quarter increased from the previous quarter in 39 states, led by Oregon (up 61 percent), Arkansas (up 42 percent), Texas (up 40 percent), Tennessee (up 37 percent), and Michigan (up 22 percent) — all non-judicial foreclosure states.

Divergent trends continue in judicial and non-judicial states
First quarter foreclosure activity in the 26 judicial or quasi-judicial states combined increased 6 percent from the first quarter of 2012, while first quarter foreclosure activity in the 24 judicial states decreased 44 percent during the same time period.

Similarly, March foreclosure activity increased 4 percent annually in the judicial states combined but decreased 44 percent annually in the non-judicial states combined.

Florida, Nevada, Illinois post highest foreclosure rates in first quarter
There were a total of 85,671 Florida properties with foreclosure filings in the first quarter, the most of any state and one in every 104 housing units — the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate and nearly three times the national average of one in every 296 housing units. Florida foreclosure activity in the first quarter increased 7 percent from the previous quarter and was up 17 percent from the first quarter of 2012.

Nevada foreclosure activity increased 13 percent in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter, helping the state post the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate. One in every 115 Nevada housing units had a foreclosure filing during the quarter. First quarter foreclosure activity in Nevada was still down 18 percent from a year ago, but the quarterly increase was driven largely by a recent uptick in foreclosure starts. Nevada foreclosure starts in March increased 88 percent from a year ago to an 18-month high.

Illinois foreclosure activity in the first quarter decreased 2 percent from the previous quarter and was down 5 percent from a year ago, but the state’s foreclosure rate — one in every 147 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the quarter — still ranked third highest nationwide. The annual decrease in the first quarter followed four consecutive quarters with annual increases in Illinois foreclosure activity.

Ohio foreclosure activity increased annually for the fourth consecutive quarter in the first quarter, helping the state post the nation’s fourth highest foreclosure rate — one in every 188 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

Georgia foreclosure activity in the first quarter decreased annually for the third consecutive quarter, but the state still posted the nation’s fifth highest foreclosure rate — one in every 200 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were Arizona (one in every 202 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Washington (one in 220 housing units), Maryland (one in 254 housing units), South Carolina (one in 254 housing units), and California (one in 266 housing units).

Florida cities account for seven of 10 highest metro foreclosure rates in first quarter
One in every 79 housing units in the Miami metro area had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter of 2013, more than three times the national average and highest among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more.

Six other Florida metro areas documented foreclosure rates that ranked among the top 10: Orlando at No. 2 (one in every 86 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Ocala at No. 3 (one in 92 housing units); Tampa at No. 5 (one in 100 housing units); Jacksonville at No. 7 (one in 105 housing units); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville at No. 8 (one in 109 housing units); and Lakeland at No. 10 (one in 128 housing units).

Other cities with foreclosure rates in the top 10 were Las Vegas at No. 4 (one in 99 housing units); Rockford, Ill., at No. 6 (one in 102 housing units); and Chicago at No. 9 (one in 116 housing units).

Days to foreclose at record 477 days, biggest increases in non-judicial states
U.S. properties foreclosed in the first quarter took an average of 477 days to complete the foreclosure process, up from 414 days in the previous quarter and up from 370 days in the first quarter of 2012. It was the highest average number of days to foreclose going back to the first quarter of 2007.

The average time to complete a foreclosure increased from the previous quarter in 39 states, led by Oregon (up 61 percent), Arkansas (up 42 percent), Texas (up 40 percent), Tennessee (up 37 percent), and Michigan (up 22 percent) — all non-judicial foreclosure states.

Despite a 4 percent decrease in the average time to complete a foreclosure from the previous quarter, New York continued to register the longest state foreclosure timeline at 1,049 days from foreclosure start to bank repossession (REO). New Jersey came in second highest at 1,002 days followed by Florida at 893 days, Hawaii at 824 days, and Illinois at 720 days.

Texas documented the shortest time to complete a foreclosure at 159 days despite a 40 percent increase from the previous quarter. Virginia documented the second shortest foreclosure timeline at 166 days, followed by Delaware at 168 days, Maine at 182 days, and Alabama at 186 days.

Report Methodology
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: DefaultNotice 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 again in the current month or quarter.

Report License                                                                               
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.

Data Licensing and Custom Report Order
Investors, businesses and government institutions can contact RealtyTrac to license bulk foreclosure and neighborhood data or purchase customized reports. We can provide you with nationwide, regional or local data and reports dating back to 2005 for both internal use and resale. For more information contact our Data Licensing Department at 800.462.5193 or datasales@realtytrac.com.

About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is the leading supplier of U.S. real estate data, with more than 1.5 million active default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties, and more than 1 million active for-sale listings on its website, which also provides essential housing information for more than 100 million homes nationwide. This information includes property characteristics, tax assessor records, bankruptcy status and sales history, along with 20 categories of key housing-related facts provided by RealtyTrac’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Homefacts®. RealtyTrac’s foreclosure reports and other housing data are relied on by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.

Media Contacts:
Jennifer von Pohlmann
949.502.8300, ext. 139
jennifer.vonpohlmann@realtytrac.com

Ginny Walker
949.502.8300, ext. 268
ginny.walker@realtytrac.com

Data and Report Licensing:
Data Sales Department
800.462.5193
datasales@realtytrac.com


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