U.S. Foreclosure Starts Decrease 8 Percent in August to Lowest Level Since December 2005, Bank Repos Up 6 Percent

ForeclosureStarts Drop 43 Percent in Florida, Jump 226 Percent inNevada;
  Bank Repos Increase Monthly in26 States, Reach Nearly Three-Year Highs in NY,NJ

IRVINE, Calif. – Sept. 12, 2013 —RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), thenation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its U.S.Foreclosure Market Report™ for August 2013, which shows foreclosure filings –default notices, scheduled auctions and bankrepossessions — were reported on 128,560 U.S. properties in August, adecrease of 2 percent from the previous month and down 34 percent from August2012 — the 35th consecutive month where foreclosure activity has decreased onan annual basis. The report also shows one in every 1,019 U.S. housing unitswith a foreclosure filing during themonth.

High-level findings from thereport:

  • The decrease in overallforeclosure activity was driven largely by falling foreclosure starts inAugust. A total of 55,775 U.S. properties started the foreclosure processduring the month, down 44 percent from a year ago to the lowest level sinceDecember 2005.
  • Foreclosure starts inAugust decreased from a year ago in 38 states, including both non-judicialstates such as Colorado (down 80 percent), Arizona (down 65 percent),Washington (down 65 percent), California (down 57 percent), and Michigan (down55 percent), and also judicial states such as Illinois (down 66 percent),Massachusetts (down 66 percent), Florida (down 65 percent), Indiana (down 43percent), and Wisconsin (down 39percent).
  • Foreclosure starts didincrease from the previous month in 17 states, including Nevada (up 226percent), Ohio (up 44 percent), Maryland (up 24 percent), California (up 12percent), and New York (up 8 percent).
  • Bank repossessions (REO) in Augustincreased 6 percent from the previous month but were still down 25 percent froma year ago. REO activity nationwide has increased on a month-to-month basis inthree of the last four months, reaching a five-month high inAugust.
  • REO activity increased fromthe previous month in 26 states and was up from a year ago in 23 states,including New York (up 123 percent to a 34-month high), New Jersey (up 63percent to a 31-month high), Florida (up 48 percent to a seven-month high),Ohio (up 46 percent to an eight-month high), and Indiana (up 41 percent to a9-month high).
  • Nevada’s foreclosurerate ranked highest nationwide, supplanting Florida at the No. 1 spot.Florida’s foreclosure rate fell to second highest, followed by Ohio, Marylandand Delaware.
  • Florida citiesaccounted for six of the 10 highest metropolitan foreclosure rates, down fromnine of the top 10 in the previous month. Also in the top 10 metro foreclosurerates were Las Vegas and three Ohio cities: Toledo, Cleveland andAkron.

“The foreclosure floodwaters have recededin most parts of the country, but lenders and communities continue to clean upthe damage left behind, which means the recent uptick in bank repossessions isa trend that will likely continue into next year,” said Daren Blomquist, vicepresident at RealtyTrac. “Meanwhile foreclosure flash floods will continue tohit some markets over the next few months as delayed foreclosure starts arequickly pushed into the pipeline. This was the case with the jump in Nevadaforeclosure starts in August.”

Local brokerquotes from the RealtyTrac Network
 “As homeprices continue to increase, we have noticed an increase in lenders takingaction on delinquent mortgages,” said Michael Mahon, executive vice presidentand broker at HERRealtors, covering the Columbus, Cincinnati andDayton markets in Ohio. “We have lenders in the Ohio market whohave stepped up their activity in notifying homeowners who are in default andcommencing foreclosure actions, which has added to the amount of foreclosureswe are seeing in certain Ohio metros.

“Due to lack ofinventory during the summer months, there is a current demand amongst buyerswho are ready, willing and able to purchase new inventory being introduced tothe market,” added Mahon.

 “In the Nashville MSA foreclosuresare down 46 percent over the last year, and banks are slowly divesting ofinventory.  We’re continuing to see steady, positive numbers as thehousing market strengthens and levels out,” said Bob Parks, CEO of BobParks Realty, covering Nashville and themiddle Tennessee region. 

“The increase in defaultsis most likely tied to the implementation of two new laws in Nevada, SB 300,which took effect June 1, and the Nevada Homeowner Bill of Rights, which willtake effect on October 1,” said Craig King, COO of ChaseInternational, covering the Reno and Lake Tahoemarkets.  “Banks are in the process of interpreting thenew laws and making necessary changes in their documentation, and have said itwill take some months to sort through the changes.  During thisprocess there will probably be significant volatility in foreclosure-relatedactivities.”

“Our Northern Utahmarket areas are displaying robust growth in rising unit sales and averagesales prices,” said Steve Roney, CEO of PrudentialUtah Real Estate.  “However, Salt Lake and Weber Countiesare showing a significant increase in default filings by lenders, indicating anincreased willingness to foreclose on properties in a risingmarket.”

“The foreclosure problem in the Oklahoma City andTulsa markets is winding down as evidenced by the fact that total Oklahomaforeclosure activity in August was at its lowest level since June 2007,” saidSheldon Detrick, CEO of PrudentialDetrick/Prudential Alliance Realty covering the OklahomaCity and Tulsa markets.  “Of more immediate concern isthat buyer activity and open house traffic has dropped significantly for thepast three weeks.  The continual rise in interest rates is having areal slow-down effect on the market, and I think this is a foreshadowing ofthings to come.”

“Recent New York market trends show a risein average home prices and a substantial increase in units sold over the lastyear,” said Emmett Laffey, CEO of Laffey FineHomes International, covering Long Island and the five boroughs ofNew York City.  “It is surprising thatthe number of default notices has risen so sharply during the third quarter inthis market environment; however, even with the increase the area’s foreclosurerate is still well below the national average and ranks in the bottom fiveamong the nation’s 20 largest markets. Some of the increase could be caused bya late ripple effect from hurricane Sandy.”

Nevada,Florida, Ohio post top state foreclosurerates
 A 104 percent monthly spike inforeclosure activity pushed Nevada’s foreclosure rate to highest among thestates in August. There were a total of 3,236 Nevada properties with foreclosurefilings during the month, up 11 percent from a year ago and one in every 359housing units — more than two and a half times the nationalaverage.

The increase in Nevada foreclosure activity wascaused by a jump in both foreclosure starts (NOD), up 226 percent from theprevious month, and scheduled foreclosure auctions, up 96 percent from theprevious month. NevadaREO activity was down 1 percent from the previous month and down 38percent from a year ago.

Florida’sforeclosure rate in August — one in every 383 housing units with aforeclosure filing — dropped to second highest in the country after threeconsecutive months in the No. 1 spot. There were a total of 23,372 Floridaproperties with foreclosure filings in August, down 14 percent from theprevious month and down 15 percent from a year ago. That annual decrease inoverall Florida foreclosure activity came on the heels of three consecutivemonths with annual increases and 16 of the last 19 months with annualincreases.

The annual decrease in Florida foreclosureactivity was driven primarily by a 65 percent year-over-year decrease inFlorida foreclosure starts (LIS), dropping those to the lowest level sinceRealtyTrac began issuing its report at the state level in April 2005. Meanwhilescheduled foreclosure auctions in Florida increased 39 percent from a year ago, and bank repossessions increased 48 percent from a yearago.

Ohioforeclosure activity in August increased 4 percent from a year ago –following three consecutive months where foreclosure activity decreased on anannual basis — helping the state to post the nation’s third highest foreclosurerate for the second month in a row. There were a total of 9,542 Ohio propertieswith a foreclosure filing in August, up 19 percent from the previous month anda foreclosure rate of one in every 537 housing units. Ohio REO activityincreased 29 percent from the previous month to an eight-month high in August.Ohio foreclosure starts increased 44 percent from the previous month but werestill down 27 percent from a year ago, while scheduled foreclosure auctionsdecreased 6 percent from the previous month but were still up 11 percent from ayear ago.

A 2 percent month-over-month decrease inforeclosure activity helped lower Maryland’sforeclosure rate to fourth highest among the states. There were atotal of 3,892 Maryland properties with a foreclosure filing in August, stillup 165 percent from a year ago and a foreclosure rate of one in every 609housing units.

Delaware foreclosure activity increased 45percent from July to August, boosting the state’s foreclosure rate from No. 14in July to No. 5 in August. One in every 638 Delaware housing units had a foreclosurefiling in August.

Georgia foreclosure activity in Augustdecreased 15 percent from the previous month and was down 51 percent from ayear ago — the 14th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease — helpingto drop the state’s foreclosure rate to 11th highest nationwide. August was thefirst month since November 2009 where Georgia’s foreclosure rate ranked belowthe top 10 in the nation.

Other states with foreclosurerates ranking among the 10 highest nationwide were Indiana (one in every 660housing units with a foreclosure filing), Utah (one in every 697 housingunits), Illinois (one in every 725 housing units), Connecticut (one in every765 housing units), and South Carolina (one in every 813 housingunits).

Three Ohio cities crack top 10 metroforeclosure rates
With one in every 201 housing unitswith a foreclosure filing in August, the Port St. Lucie metro area in southeastFlorida posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan statisticalareas with a population of 200,000 or more.

Five otherFlorida cities posted foreclosure rates among the top 10 highest nationwide:Jacksonville at No. 2 (one in every 304 housing units with a foreclosurefiling); Miami at No. 4 (one in every 324 housing units); Ocala at No. 5 (onein every 328 housing units); Tampa at No. 6 (one in every 347 housing units);and Orlando at No. 9 (one in every 386 housing units).

LasVegas posted the nation’s third highest metro foreclosure rate — one in every323 housing units with a foreclosure filing — thanks to a 90 percent monthlyspike in foreclosure activity, and monthly spikes in foreclosure activity alsoboosted three Ohio cities into the top 10 highest metro foreclosure rates:Toledo at No. 7 (one in every 384 housing units with a foreclosure filing);Cleveland at No. 8 (also one in every 384 housing units); and Akron at No. 10(one in every 393 housing units).

20 majormetro foreclosure trends
Despite an 18 percentyear-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity, Miami posted the highestforeclosure rate among the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan statistical areasby population.

Tampa’s foreclosure rate came in secondhighest among the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, followed by Riverside-SanBernardino in Southern California, Chicago and Baltimore — where foreclosureactivity increased 252 percent from a year ago. Baltimore was one of fourcities among the 20 largest to post an annual increase in foreclosure activity.Others were New York (35 percent increase), Philadelphia (16 percent increase),and Washington, D.C. (9 percent increase).

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 –broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure filings entered into thedatabase during the month may have been recorded in previous months. Data iscollected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties accountfor more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s reportincorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure:DefaultNoticeof Default (NOD) and LisPendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee’s Saleand Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and RealEstate Owned, or REOproperties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank).The report does not count a property again if it receives the same type offoreclosure filing multiple times within the estimated foreclosure timeframefor the state where the property is located.

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.

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AboutRealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is theleading source of comprehensive housing data, with more than 1.5 million activedefault, 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 andconsumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions aboutreal estate.

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