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RealtyTrac Reports Foreclosure Activity Dips 15 Percent in Q1 of 2011

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Apr 15, 2011

RealtyTrac has released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for the first quarter of 2011, which shows foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions —were reported on 681,153 U.S. properties in the first quarter, a 15 percent decrease from the previous quarter and a 27 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2010. The report also shows one in every 191 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter. Foreclosure filings were reported on 239,795 U.S. properties in March, a seven percent increase from the previous month but still down 35 percent from March 2010, when 367,056 homeowners received a foreclosure notice—the highest monthly total in the history of the RealtyTrac monthly report since its inception in January of 2005. “The nation’s housing market continued to languish in the first quarter, even as foreclosure activity fell to a three-year low,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Weak demand, declining home prices and the lack of credit availability are weighing heavily on the market, which is still facing the dual threat of a looming shadow inventory of distressed properties and the probability that foreclosure activity will begin to increase again as lenders and servicers gradually work their way through the backlog of thousands of foreclosures that have been delayed due to improperly processed paperwork.” Foreclosure activity by type A total of 197,112 U.S. properties received default notices for the first time in the first quarter, a 17 percent decrease from the previous quarter and a 35 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2010. A total of 73,393 properties received default notices in March, up 16 percent from February but still down 37 percent from March 2010. Foreclosure auctions were scheduled for the first time on a total of 268,995 U.S. properties in the first quarter, a 19 percent decrease from the previous quarter and a 27 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2010. Foreclosure auctions were scheduled on 93,228 U.S. properties in March, down four percent from February and down 41 percent from March 2010. Lenders foreclosed on 215,046 U.S. properties in the first quarter, a 6 percent decrease from the previous quarter and a 17 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2010. In states where the non-judicial foreclosure process is primarily used, bank repossessions (REOs) increased nine percent from the previous quarter, and March REOs increased on a monthly basis in both non-judicial and judicial foreclosure states. Nevada, Arizona, California post top state foreclosure rates Nevada posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 35 housing units with a foreclosure filing, despite a 10 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous quarter. In March, Nevada’s foreclosure activity increased 35 percent from February after two straight monthly decreases. Bank repossessions increased 26 percent in Arizona from February to March, helping to keep the state’s foreclosure rate second highest in the nation for the first quarter: One in every 60 Arizona housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter. The state’s first quarter foreclosure activity increased 15 percent from the fourth quarter—the second highest quarterly increase of any state—but was still down 17 percent from the first quarter of 2010. First quarter foreclosure activity in California decreased four percent from the previous quarter and was down 22 percent from the first quarter of 2010, but the state still posted the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 80 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the quarter. First quarter bank repossessions in California increased 17 percent from the previous quarter, while March default notices increased 28 percent from February. One in every 98 Utah housing units had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter, the fourth highest state foreclosure rate, and Idaho posted the fifth highest state foreclosure rate: one in every 106 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the quarter. Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 in the first quarter were Georgia, Michigan, Florida, Colorado and Illinois. Top foreclosure activity totals With 168,543 properties with a foreclosure filing, California accounted for nearly 25 percent of U.S. foreclosure activity in the first quarter. Florida accounted for nearly nine percent of U.S. foreclosure activity, documenting 58,322 properties with a foreclosure filing during the quarter, followed by Arizona, with 46,047 properties with foreclosure filings—nearly seven percent of the national total. Georgia (37,509) and Michigan (37,506) posted nearly identical numbers of properties with foreclosure filings in the first quarter, and each state accounted for 5.5 percent of the U.S. total. Other states with foreclosure activity totals among the nation’s 10 highest in the first quarter were Texas (34,646), Illinois (33,092), Nevada (32,066), Ohio (24,697) and Colorado (13,847). Judicial foreclosure states post substantial quarterly and annual decreases Processing delays continued to keep foreclosure activity artificially low—states where a judicial foreclosure process is used accounted for some of the biggest quarterly and annual decreases in the first quarter. Florida foreclosure activity decreased 47 percent from the previous quarter and was down 62 percent from the first quarter of 2010—although the state still posted the nation’s eighth highest foreclosure rate with one in every 152 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the first quarter. First quarter foreclosure activity in Massachusetts decreased 46 percent from the previous quarter and was down 62 percent from the first quarter of 2010. The state’s foreclosure rate—one in every 549 housing units with a foreclosure filing—ranked 38th among the states. New Jersey’s first quarter foreclosure rate of one in every 401 housing units with a foreclosure filing ranked 34th among the states, thanks in part to a 43 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous quarter and a 44 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2010. Connecticut first quarter foreclosure activity decreased 39 percent from the previous quarter and was down 65 percent from the first quarter of 2010. Pennsylvania first quarter foreclosure activity decreased 35 percent from the previous quarter and was down 29 percent from the first quarter of 2010. Non-judicial foreclosure states account for 19 of top 20 metro foreclosure rates Except for Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., the 20 highest first quarter foreclosure rates among metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more were in states where the non-judicial foreclosure process is primarily used, and paperwork delays are less severe. Cape Coral-Fort Myers ranked 18th, with one in every 86 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the quarter. Las Vegas continued to post the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 31 housing units with a foreclosure filing. The Reno-Sparks, Nev., metro area ranked eighth, with one in every 54 housing units with a foreclosure filing. California cities accounted for 11 of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates, led by Modesto at number two (one in every 46 housing units) and Stockton at number three (one in every 47 housing units). With one in every 48 housing units with a foreclosure filing, the Phoenix metro area ranked fourth and was one of two Arizona metro areas in the top 20.
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