March ActivityAt 56-Month Low, Under 200,000 Properties with ForeclosureFilings
But Foreclosure StartsIncrease for Third Straight Month in March
IRVINE,Calif. – April 12, 2012 — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), theleading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S.Foreclosure Market Report™ for the first quarter of 2012, which showsforeclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bankrepossessions — were reported on 572,928 properties during thequarter, down 2 percent from the previous quarter and down 16 percent from thefirst quarter of 2011.
The first quarter total was thelowest quarterly total since the fourth quarter of 2007, when 527,740 propertieswith foreclosure filings were reported. The report shows one in every 230 U.S.housing units with a foreclosure filing during thequarter.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 198,853 U.S.properties in March, a 4 percent decrease from February and a 17 percentdecrease from March 2011. March’s total was the lowest monthly total since July2007, and also the first monthly total below 200,000 since July2007.
“The low foreclosure numbers in the first quarter arenot an indication that the massive reservoir of distressed properties built upover the past few years has somehow miraculously evaporated,” said BrandonMoore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “There are hairline cracks in thedam, evident in the sizable foreclosure activity increases in judicialforeclosure states over the past several months, along with an increase inforeclosure starts in many judicial and non-judicial states in March. The dammay not burst in the next 30 to 45 days, but it will eventually burst, andeveryone downstream should be prepared for that to happen — both in terms ofnew foreclosure activity and new short sale activity.”
Judicialforeclosure activity increases in first quarter
Thenationwide decrease in foreclosure activity was caused primarily by decreasingactivity in states that use the non-judicialforeclosure process. These 24 states combined, along with theDistrict of Columbia, had 329,854 properties with foreclosure filings duringthe quarter, more than half the national total — but a decrease of 8 percentfrom the previous quarter and a decrease of 28 percent from the first quarterof 2011.
Twenty non-judicial states registered year-over-yeardecreases in foreclosure activity, led by Arkansas, with a 79 percent drop, andNevada, with a 62 percent drop. Recent legislation or court cases havedisrupted the normal foreclosure process in both these states. Othernon-judicial states with substantial year-over-year decreases in foreclosureactivity included Washington (down 55 percent), Arizona (down 41 percent),Texas (down 31 percent), and California (down 21percent).
Meanwhile foreclosure activity increased in statesthat primarily use the judicialforeclosure process. These 26 states combined accounted for 243,074properties with foreclosure filings during the quarter, an increase of 8percent from the previous quarter and an increase of 10 percent from the firstquarter of 2011.
Judicial states posting some of the biggestyear-over-year increases in foreclosure activity in the first quarter includedIndiana (up 45 percent), Connecticut (up 38 percent), Massachusetts (up 26percent), Florida (up 26 percent), South Carolina (up 26 percent), andPennsylvania (up 23 percent).
Foreclosurestarts increase for third straight month inMarch
First-time foreclosure starts, either defaultnotices or scheduledforeclosure auctions depending on the state’s foreclosure process,increased 7 percent from February to March, the third straight monthlyincrease. Foreclosure starts in March exceeded 100,000 for the first time sinceNovember 2011, although they were still down 11 percent from March2011.
States with the biggest monthly increases inforeclosure starts included Nevada (up 153 percent), Utah (up 103 percent), NewJersey (up 73 percent), Maryland (up 53 percent) and North Carolina (up 47percent). Thirty-one states posted monthly increases in foreclosure starts inMarch.
Nevada, California,Arizona post top state foreclosure rates
Nevadaforeclosure activity decreased 26 percent from the previous quarterand was down 62 percent from the first quarter of 2011, but the state stillposted the nation’s top foreclosure rate — one in every 95 Nevada housing unitshad a foreclosure filing during the first quarter. Although Nevada had the topforeclosure rate for the quarter, the state’s foreclosure rate slipped tosecond 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 foreclosurerate in March.
Although California defaultactivity increased from February to March — up 14 percent — the state’s overallforeclosure activity in the first quarter was down on a quarterly and annualbasis. The Californiaforeclosure rate still ranked second highest among all states in thefirst quarter, with one in every 103 housing units with a foreclosurefiling.
One in every 106 Arizona housing units had aforeclosure filing in the first quarter, the nation’s third highest stateforeclosure rate. Arizonaforeclosure activity during the quarter was down 4 percent from theprevious quarter and was down 41 percent from the first quarter of2011.
Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among thetop 10 in the first quarter were Georgia (one in 119 housing units with aforeclosure filing), Florida (one in 123), Illinois (one in 141), Michigan (onein 162), Colorado (one in 191), Utah (one in 198) and Wisconsin (one in206).
California, Florida, Illinois post topforeclosure activity totals
California’s 133,245properties with foreclosure filings in the first quarter was the highest totalof any state and accounted for 23 percent of U.S. foreclosure activity duringthe quarter.
Florida posted the second higheststate total, with 73,344 properties with foreclosure filings during thequarter. Floridaforeclosure activity in the first quarter increased 4 percent fromthe previous quarter and was up 26 percent from the first quarter of2011.
Illinoisforeclosure activity increased 17 percent from the previous quarterand was up 14 percent from the first quarter of 2011, helping the state postthe nation’s third highest state foreclosure total in the first quarter: 37,660properties with foreclosure filings.
Other states withforeclosure 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(12,727).
Time to foreclose increasesnationwide, but down in key states
U.S. propertiesforeclosed in the first quarter took an average of 370 days to complete the foreclosureprocess, up from 348 days in the previous quarter and the highest averagenumber of days going back to the first quarter of2007.
Average foreclosuretimelines appear to be turning a corner in some bellwether states.The average time to foreclose in California was 320 days, down from 352 days inthe previous quarter and the second straight quarterly decrease after 12straight quarterly increases.
The average time to foreclosealso decreased in Colorado, Utah, Massachusetts, Nevada, Michigan and Maryland.Despite the decrease, Maryland still posted the fifth longest time toforeclose, 618 days. The states with the top four longest times to foreclosewere New York (1,056 days), New Jersey (966 days), Florida (861 days) andIllinois (628 days).
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure MarketReport provides a count of the total number of properties with at least oneforeclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the month andquarter — broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure filings entered intothe database during a month or quarter may have been recorded in previousmonths 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 offoreclosure: Default — Noticeof Default (NOD) and LisPendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Saleand Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and RealEstate Owned, or REOproperties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank).For the quarterly report, if more than one foreclosure document is received fora property during the quarter, only the most recent filing is counted in thereport. Both the quarterly and monthly reports check if the same type ofdocument was filed against a property previously. If so, and if that previousfiling occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state wherethe property is located, the report does not count the property in the currentmonth or quarter.
The RealtyTrac U.S.Foreclosure Market Report is the result of a proprietary evaluation ofinformation compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information inwhole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published,distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the userspecifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any ofthe information set forth within the report.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is theleading online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 2 milliondefault, auction and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, alongwith detailed property, loan and home sales data. Hosting more than 3 millionunique monthly visitors, RealtyTrac provides innovative technology solutionsand practical education resources to facilitate buying, selling and investing inreal estate. RealtyTrac’s foreclosure data has also been used by the FederalReserve, FBI, U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and Banking Committee, U.S.Treasury Department, and numerous state housing and banking departments to helpevaluate foreclosure trends and address policy issues related toforeclosures.
Jennifer von Pohlmann
Data Sales Department: