RealtyTrac released its Midyear 2013 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows a total of 801,359 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions—in the first half of 2013, a 19 percent decrease from the previous six months and down 23 percent from the first half of 2012. The report also shows that 0.61 percent of all U.S. housing units (one in 164) had at least one foreclosure filing in the first six months of the year. “Halfway through 2013 it is becoming increasingly evident that while foreclosures are no longer a problem nationally they continue to be a thorn in the side of several state and local markets, particularly where a backlog of delayed distress has built up thanks to a lengthy foreclosure process,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “The increases in judicial foreclosure auctions demonstrate that these delayed foreclosure cases are now being moved more quickly through to foreclosure completion." Findings from the report include: ►A total of 127,790 U.S. properties had foreclosure filings in June, down 14 percent from the previous month and down 35 percent from a year ago to the lowest monthly level since December 2006—a six and a half year low. ►U.S. foreclosure starts in June dropped 21 percent from the previous month and were down 45 percent from a year ago to the lowest monthly level since December 2005—a seven and a half year low. Year to date through June, 409,491 foreclosure starts have been filed nationwide, on pace to reach more than 800,000 for the year, which would be down from 1.1 million foreclosure starts in 2012. ►Foreclosure starts in June decreased from the previous month in 38 states, including Nevada (down 84 percent), Colorado (down 62 percent), New Jersey (down 40 percent), Illinois (down 39 percent) and Florida (down 26 percent). ►Bank repossessions (REO) in June decreased nine percent from the previous month and were down 35 percent from a year ago. Year to date through June, a total of 248,538 bank repossessions have occurred nationwide, on pace for nearly 500,000 for the year, which would be down from more than 671,000 in 2012. ►Bank repossessions in June decreased from a year ago in 34 states, but there were some notable exceptions where bank repossessions were up from a year ago, including Arkansas (up 143 percent), Oklahoma (up 103 percent), Maryland (up 74 percent), Washington (up 71 percent), New Jersey (up 33 percent), and New York (up 21 percent). ►Judicial foreclosure auctions (NFS) were scheduled for 28,296 U.S. properties in June, up less than 1 percent from May but up 34 percent from June 2012. States with substantial annual increases in scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions included New Jersey (up 103 percent), Florida (up 100 percent), Maryland (up 94 percent), New York (up 66 percent), and Illinois (up 65 percent to a 35-month high). ►Florida, Nevada, Illinois, Ohio and Georgia posted the top five state foreclosure rates for the first half of the year, while five Florida cities posted the top five metro foreclosure rates: Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala, and Tampa. "Given the rising home prices in most of these markets, it is an opportune time for lenders to dispose of these distressed properties, either at the foreclosure auction to a third-party buyer, or by repossessing the property at the auction and subsequently selling it as a bank-owned home," said Blomquist.