September Foreclosure Activity Down 27 Percent From Year Ago, Marking 36 Months of Annual Decreases

Q3 ForeclosureStarts at Seven-Year Low, REOs Up From PreviousQuarter;
  Baltimore, Las Vegas,Raleigh, Hartford, DC Among Metros Bucking DownwardTrend

IRVINE, Calif. – Oct. 10, 2013– RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), thenation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its U.S.Foreclosure Market Report™ for September and the third quarter of 2013, whichshows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bankrepossessions — were reported on 131,232 U.S. properties inSeptember, a 2 percent increase from the previous month but a 27 percentdecrease from a year ago.

September was the 36th consecutivemonth with an annual decrease in U.S. foreclosure activity, a downward trendthat started in October 2010 when lenders and servicers were accused ofimproperly signing off on foreclosure documents with a practice dubbedrobo-signing.

September numbers helped dropthird quarter foreclosure activity to the lowest quarterly level since thesecond quarter of 2007. There were a total of 376,931 U.S. properties withforeclosure filings in the third quarter of 2013, down 7 percent from theprevious quarter and down 29 percent from the third quarter of 2012 — thebiggest annual decrease since the second quarter of 2011. One in every 348housing units had a foreclosure filing during thequarter.

High-level findings from thereport:

  • U.S.foreclosure starts in the third quarter were at a seven-year low. A total of174,366 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first timeduring the quarter, down 13 percent from the previous quarter and down 39percent from a year ago to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2006.
  • Third quarter foreclosure startsdecreased from a year ago in 38 states including Colorado (down 71 percent),Arizona (down 63 percent), California (down 59 percent), Illinois (down 56 percent),and Florida (down 52 percent).
  • Thirdquarter foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 11 states, includingMaryland (up 259 percent), Oregon (up 252 percent), New Jersey (up 53 percent),Connecticut (up 52 percent), Nevada (up 36 percent), andNew York (up 25 percent).
  • Thirdquarter bank repossessions (REO) decreased 24 percent from a year ago but wereup 7 percent from the previous quarter. A total of 119,485 U.S. properties wererepossessed by lenders in the third quarter, putting the nation on pace forclose to half a million total bank repossessions for theyear.
  • The quarterly increase in REOsnationwide was driven by quarterly increases in 26 states, including New York(up 65 percent), New Jersey (up 64 percent), Illinois (up 44 percent), Virginia(up 36 percent), Connecticut (up 34 percent), Indiana (up 30 percent), Nevada(up 29 percent), and California (up 19 percent).
  • Overall foreclosure activity in September decreased from ayear ago in 33 states, but was up from a year ago in 16 states, includingMaryland (up 230 percent), Nevada (up 97 percent), Connecticut (up 69 percent),New Jersey (up 55 percent), Pennsylvania (up 34 percent), and New York (up 22percent).
  • September foreclosureactivity decreased from a year ago in 144 of the 209 metro areas tracked in thereport (69 percent), but increased from a year ago in 64 metros (31 percent),including Baltimore (up 381 percent), Las Vegas (up 109 percent), Raleigh, N.C.(up 97 percent), Hartford, Conn., (up 74 percent), Washington D.C., (up 52percent), Philadelphia (up 32 percent), and New York (up 25percent).

“The September and third quarterforeclosure numbers show a housing market that is haltingly returning tohealth,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “In a healthyhousing market foreclosures are rare but streamlined while still protecting therights of the homeowner. While foreclosures are clearly becoming fewer andfarther between in most markets, the increasing time it takes to foreclose isholding back a more robust and sustainable recovery.

“Thesharp jumps in foreclosure activity in some local markets may come as asurprise to some,” Blomquist added. “These spikes in activity demonstrate thatwhile millions of distressed homeowners have been pulled back from theprecipice by foreclosure prevention programs over the past several years, oncethose programs expire or are exhausted, a percentage of these troubledhomeowners are still susceptible to falling into foreclosure. In addition evenslight economic downturns at the local or regional level can push thesehomeowners hanging on by a thread over the edge.”

Localbroker quotes
“Foreclosures have declined dramaticallyin Northern Nevada and the foreclosure level is quickly approaching nationalaverages; however, Senate Bill 300 is having an effect on housing statistics inthis market by contributing high levels of variability in monthly foreclosurelevels,” said Craig King, COO of ChaseInternational brokerage, covering the Reno, Nev., and Lake Tahoemarkets.  “Lenders are changing forms and paperwork to correspond tonew laws, and they believe the foreclosure processes will be dramaticallyslowed for the next several months.”

“Ohio’s employmentgrowth in recent months, coupled with low inventory levels, has enabled much ofthe backlogged REO inventory to be sold.  This has provided a morebalanced housing market, enabling non-homeowners in Ohio to explorehomeownership options,” said Michael Mahon, Executive Vice President/Broker,HERRealtors, covering the Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton markets inOhio.  “While we continue to see foreclosures occur, this inventory isbased on current actions being taken against consumers in default, and notbacklogged actions from lenders’ inaction due to property value and regulatoryconcerns. “

“While foreclosures aren’t as prevalent as theyonce were, it’s difficult to say that Portland, or any other metropolitan area,has completely passed the foreclosure issue when there are so many variables toconsider such as job growth,” said Brian Allen, president and co-owner of Windermere/ Cronin & Caplan Realty Group in Portland, Ore.. “However,the numbers are pointing to a more balanced market in Portland.”

“Thebay area housing market in Northern California is balanced and healthy,” saidGretchen Pearson, President of PrudentialCalifornia Realty, San Ramon.  “There are a fewremnants of distressed properties left from Fannie Mae, but families are nowable to move up in the housing market as sellers are accepting contingentsales, and that is a great sign.”

“The Northern Utahmarkets from Ogden through Salt Lake have showed great strength in the past fewmonths both in price appreciation and numbers of homes sold,” said Steve Roney,CEO of PrudentialUtah Real Estate. “Northern Utah is in a much better housing marketposition than last year, but inventory remains light compared to buyerdemand.”

“The Middle-Tennessee market is continuing toimprove.  Housing prices are steadily climbing, inventory isincreasing slightly and this has been a good year for buyers and sellersalike,” said Bob Parks, CEO of Bob ParksRealty, covering the Middle-Tennessee market, includingNashville.  “We are experiencing favorable conditions in themid-Tennessee area, which is contributing to our recovering housingmarket.”

“The Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas arecontinuing to experience a slower-paced housing market compared to previousmonths,” said Sheldon Detrick, CEO of PrudentialDetrick/Prudential Alliance Realty covering the Oklahoma City andTulsa markets. “This could be due to a seasonal slowing of the housing market,and the current gridlock in Washington could be having an effect on the numberof people buying and selling their homes at this time.”

Florida,Nevada and Maryland post top state foreclosure rates in the thirdquarter
Floridaforeclosure activity in the third quarter decreased 8 percent from ayear ago following six consecutive quarters with annual increases inforeclosure activity, but the state still posted the nation’s highestforeclosure rate during the quarter. A total of 70,902 Florida properties hadforeclosure filings in the third quarter, down 7 percent from the previousquarter and a rate of one in every 126 housing units — more than twice thenational average.

Nevadaforeclosure activity in the third quarter increased 10 percent fromthe previous quarter and was up 21 percent from a year ago. The state’sforeclosure rate ranked second highest in the nation. A total of 9,033 Nevadaproperties had foreclosure filings in the third quarter, a rate of one in every128 housing units.

A 180 percent year-over-year increase inforeclosure activity helped boost Maryland’s third quarter foreclosure rate tothird highest among the states. A total of 11,617 Maryland properties hadforeclosure filings during the quarter, up 6 percent from the previous quarterand a rate of one in every 204 housing units.

Third quarterforeclosure activity decreased from a year ago in both Illinois and Ohio, butthe states still posted the nation’s fourth and fifth highest foreclosure ratesrespectively. Indiana and South Carolina also ranked among the top 10 stateforeclosure rates in the third quarter, at No. 9 and No. 10 respectively,despite annual decreases in foreclosure activity.

Thirdquarter foreclosure activity increased from a year ago in Connecticut, Delawareand New Jersey, and these states posted the nation’s sixth, seventh and eighthhighest state foreclosure rates respectively during thequarter.

Florida cities account for 8 of top 10metro foreclosure rates in the third quarter
With onein every 83 housing units with a foreclosure filing in the third quarter, thePort St. Lucie metro area in southeast Florida posted the nation’s highestforeclosure rate among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of200,000 or more.

Seven other Florida cities postedforeclosure rates among the 10 highest nationwide in the third quarter:Jacksonville at No. 2 (one in every 96 housing units with a foreclosurefiling); Miami at No. 3 (one in every 101 housing units); PalmBay-Melbourne-Titusville at No. 4 (one in every 102 housing units); Ocala atNo. 6 (one in every 120 housing units); Tampa at No. 7 (one in every 120housing units); Orlando at No. 8 (one in every 134 housing units); andPensacola at No. 9 (one in every 153 housing units).

Othermetro areas with foreclosure rates ranking among the 10 highest were Las Vegasat No. 5 (one in every 109 housing units with a foreclosure filing) andRockford at No. 10 (one in every 155 housing units).

Averagetime to complete foreclosure up to 551 days nationwide
U.S. properties foreclosed in the third quarter of2013 were in the foreclosure process an average of 551 days, up 5 percent from526 days in the second quarter and up 44 percent from 382 days in the thirdquarter of 2012.

The average time to foreclose was 1,037 daysin New York, the longest of any state, followed by New Jersey (1,014 days),Florida (929 days), Illinois (828 days) and Connecticut (693 days).

Theaverage time to foreclose was in Texas was 164 days, the shortest of any state, followed by Alabama (185 days), Virginia (189 days) andDelaware (202 days).

ReportMethodology
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 into thedatabase during a month or quarter may have been recorded in previous months orquarters. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and thosecounties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’sreport incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure:DefaultNoticeof 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 again in thecurrent month or quarter.

ReportLicense                                                                               
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 thereport.

DataLicensing and Custom Report Order
Investors, businessesand government institutions can contact RealtyTrac to license bulk foreclosureand neighborhood data or purchase customized reports. For more informationplease contact our Data Licensing Department at 800.462.5193 or datasales@realtytrac.com.

AboutRealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is thenation’s leading source of comprehensive housing data, with more than 1.5million active default, foreclosureauction and bank-ownedproperties, and more than 1 million active for-sale listings on its website,which also provides essential housing information for more than 100 millionhomes nationwide. This information includes property characteristics, taxassessor records, bankruptcy status and sales history, along with 20 categoriesof key housing-related facts provided by RealtyTrac’s wholly-owned subsidiary,Homefacts®.RealtyTrac’s foreclosurereports 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.

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