U.S. Bank Repossessions Drop to 65-Month Low in February as Foreclosure Starts Rebound 10 Percent From January

ForeclosureStarts Reach 17-Month High in Nevada, 31-Month High inMaryland
  Florida Posts Top StateForeclosure Rate, Miami Posts Top Metro ForeclosureRate

IRVINE, Calif. – March 14, 2013– RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), theleading online marketplace for foreclosure properties and real estate data,today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for February 2013, whichshows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bankrepossessions — were reported on 154,281 U.S. properties in February,an increase of 2 percent from the previous month but still down 25 percent fromFebruary 2012. The report also shows one in every 849 U.S. housing units with aforeclosure filing during the month.

“At a high level theU.S. foreclosure inferno has been effectively contained and should be reducedto a slow burn in the next two years,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president atRealtyTrac. “But dangerous foreclosure flare-ups are still popping up in stateswhere foreclosures have been delayed by a lengthy court process or by newlegislation making it more difficult to foreclose outside of the court system. Foreclosurestarts have been steadily building in those states over the last several monthsand likely will end up as bank repossessions or short sales later thisyear.

“These new foreclosure hot spots include states likeWashington, where seven straight months of rising foreclosure activity pushedthe state’s foreclosure rate to fifth highest nationwide –the highest it’s everbeen in our report — and Maryland, where eight straight months of risingforeclosure activity placed the state’s foreclosure rate among the top 10nationwide for the first time since July 2010,” Blomquistnoted.

High-level findings from thereport:

  • U.S. foreclosurestarts increased 10 percent from the previous month after three consecutivemonthly decreases, but were still down 25 percent from February 2012.
  • Foreclosure startsincreased from the previous month in 32 states and were up from a year ago in16 states, including Nevada (up 334 percent), Maryland (up 319 percent),Washington (up 172 percent), New York (up 139 percent), and New Jersey (up 70percent).
  • U.S. bank repossessions(REO) decreased 11 percent from the previous month and were down 29 percentfrom February 2012 to the lowest level since September 2007 — a 65-month low.
  • Bank repossessionsdecreased from the previous month in 32 states and were down from a year ago in41 states, including Oregon (down 78 percent), Massachusetts (down 69 percent),Nevada (down 59 percent), Georgia (down 58 percent), and California (down 49percent).
  • Florida posted the nation’shighest state foreclosure rate for the sixth consecutive month in February,reporting one in every 282 housing units with a foreclosure filing during themonth.
  • Florida citiesaccounted for seven of the nation’s 10 highest metro foreclosure rates inFebruary, led by the Miami, Orlando, Ocala, Tampa and Palm Bay metro areas inthe top five spots.

Florida, Nevada,Illinois post highest state foreclosure rates
Florida’sforeclosure rate ranked highest among the states for the sixth monthin a row in February. One in every 282 Florida housing units had a foreclosurefiling during the month — more than three times the national average. A totalof 31,726 Florida properties had a foreclosure filing during the month, up 6percent from the previous month and up 20 percent from February 2012 to a16-month high.

Nevadaforeclosure starts in February increased 334 percent from a year agoto a 17-month high, keeping the state’s foreclosure rate as the second highestnationwide for the fifth month in a row. One in every 320 Nevada housing unitshad a foreclosure filing in February, more than twice the nationalaverage.

Despite the third straightmonth-over-month decrease in foreclosure activity in February, Illinois postedthe nation’s third highest stateforeclosure rate for the second month in a row: one in every 417housing units with a foreclosure filing. A total of 12,671 Illinois propertieshad a foreclosure filing in February, down 10 percent from the previous monthand down 5 percent from February 2012.

Ohio foreclosureactivity increased 26 percent from the previous month and was up 12 percentfrom a year ago, boosting the state’s foreclosure rate to the fourth highestamong the states. Ohio foreclosure activity has increased on an annual basis in11 out of the past 13 months.

Washington foreclosure activityincreased on an annual basis for the seventh consecutive month in February,helping to push the state’s foreclosure rate to fifth highest nationwide. February’sNo. 5 ranking was the highest foreclosure rate ranking for Washington sinceRealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005. A total of 4,362Washington properties had a foreclosure filing during the month, an increase of123 percent from February 2012 and one in every 656 housingunits.

Maryland foreclosure activity increased on an annualbasis for the eighth consecutive month in February, driven largely by a 319percent jump in foreclosure starts, lifting the state’s foreclosure rate to theninth highest nationwide. February was the first month since July 2010 thatMaryland’s foreclosure rate ranked among the top 10nationwide.

Foreclosure activity was flat or decreased from ayear ago in the other four states with foreclosure rates among the top 10:Arizona at No. 6 (one in 704 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Georgiaat No. 7 (one in 705 housing units); Utah at No. 8 (one in 713 housing units);and Michigan at No. 10 (one in 724 housing units).

AlthoughCalifornia foreclosure starts rebounded 47 percent in February from an 88-monthlow in January, overall foreclosure activity in the state was down from a yearago for the 15th straight month, dropping the foreclosure rate down to No. 13nationwide. February was the first month since December 2006 where theCalifornia foreclosure rate was not ranked among the top 10 state foreclosurerates nationwide. 

Florida citiesaccount for seven of top 10 metro foreclosure rates
Reportingone in every 219 housing units with a foreclosure filing in February, the Miamimetro area posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metropolitanstatistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more.

Sixother Florida metro areas documented foreclosure rates in the top 10: Orlandoat No. 2 (one in 225 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Ocala at No. 3(one in 243 housing units); Tampa at No. 4 (one in 253 housing units); Palm Bayat No. 5 (one in 260 housing units); Jacksonville at No. 8 (one in 302 housingunits); and Naples at No. 9 (one in 318 housing units). Foreclosure activityincreased from a year ago in all seven Florida cities with top 10 metroforeclosure rates.

Other cities with foreclosure rates in thetop 10 were Las Vegas at No. 6 (one in 283 housing units); Rockford, Ill., atNo. 7 (one in 291 housing units); and Chicago at No. 10 (one in 331 housingunits).

Five cities posted annual increases in foreclosureactivity among the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan areas in terms of population:Baltimore (up 145 percent), Seattle (up 129 percent), New York (up 44 percent),Tampa (up 24 percent), and Miami (up 20 percent).

Report methodology
TheRealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total numberof properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTracdatabase during the month — broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosurefilings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded inprevious months. 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: 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.

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