RealtyTrac has released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for August 2013, which shows foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions—were reported on 128,560 U.S. properties in August, a decrease of two percent from the previous month and down 34 percent from August 2012—the 35th consecutive month where foreclosure activity has decreased on an annual basis. The report also shows one in every 1,019 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.
High-level findings from the report:
►The decrease in overall foreclosure activity was driven largely by falling foreclosure starts in August. A total of 55,775 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process during the month, down 44 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since December 2005.
►Foreclosure starts in August decreased from a year ago in 38 states, including both non-judicial states such as Colorado (down 80 percent), Arizona (down 65 percent), Washington (down 65 percent), California (down 57 percent), and Michigan (down 55 percent), and also judicial states such as Illinois (down 66 percent), Massachusetts (down 66 percent), Florida (down 65 percent), Indiana (down 43 percent), and Wisconsin (down 39 percent).
►Foreclosure starts did increase from the previous month in 17 states, including Nevada (up 226 percent), Ohio (up 44 percent), Maryland (up 24 percent), California (up 12 percent), and New York (up 8 percent).
►Bank repossessions (REO) in August increased six percent from the previous month, but were still down 25 percent from a year ago. REO activity nationwide has increased on a month-to-month basis in three of the last four months, reaching a five-month high in August.
►REO activity increased from the 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 63 percent 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 a nine-month high).
►Nevada’s foreclosure rate ranked highest nationwide, supplanting Florida at the No. 1 spot. Florida’s foreclosure rate fell to second highest, followed by Ohio, Maryland and Delaware.
►Florida cities accounted for six of the 10 highest metropolitan foreclosure rates, down from nine of the top 10 in the previous month. Also in the top 10 metro foreclosure rates were Las Vegas and three Ohio cities: Toledo, Cleveland and Akron.
“The foreclosure floodwaters have receded in most parts of the country, but lenders and communities continue to clean up the damage left behind, which means the recent uptick in bank repossessions is a trend that will likely continue into next year,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Meanwhile foreclosure flash floods will continue to hit some markets over the next few months as delayed foreclosure starts are quickly pushed into the pipeline. This was the case with the jump in Nevada foreclosure starts in August.”
A 104 percent monthly spike in foreclosure activity pushed Nevada’s foreclosure rate to highest among the states in August. There were a total of 3,236 Nevada properties with foreclosure filings during the month, up 11 percent from a year ago and one in every 359 housing units—more than two and a half times the national average.
The increase in Nevada foreclosure activity was caused by a jump in both foreclosure starts (NOD), up 226 percent from the previous month, and scheduled foreclosure auctions, up 96 percent from the previous month. Nevada REO activity was down one percent from the previous month and down 38 percent from a year ago.
Florida’s foreclosure rate in August—one in every 383 housing units with a foreclosure filing—dropped to second highest in the country after three consecutive months in the number one spot. There were a total of 23,372 Florida properties with foreclosure filings in August, down 14 percent from the previous month and down 15 percent from a year ago. That annual decrease in overall Florida foreclosure activity came on the heels of three consecutive months with annual increases and 16 of the last 19 months with annual increases.
The annual decrease in Florida foreclosure activity was driven primarily by a 65 percent year-over-year decrease in Florida foreclosure starts (LIS), dropping those to the lowest level since RealtyTrac began issuing its report at the state level in April 2005. Meanwhile scheduled foreclosure auctions in Florida increased 39 percent from a year ago, and bank repossessions increased 48 percent from a year ago.
Ohio foreclosure activity in August increased four percent from a year ago—following three consecutive months where foreclosure activity decreased on an annual basis—helping the state to post the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate for the second month in a row. There were a total of 9,542 Ohio properties with a foreclosure filing in August, up 19 percent from the previous month and a foreclosure rate of one in every 537 housing units. Ohio REO activity increased 29 percent from the previous month to an eight-month high in August. Ohio foreclosure starts increased 44 percent from the previous month but were still down 27 percent from a year ago, while scheduled foreclosure auctions decreased six percent from the previous month but were still up 11 percent from a year ago.
A two percent month-over-month decrease in foreclosure activity helped lower Maryland’s foreclosure rate to fourth highest among the states. There were a total of 3,892 Maryland properties with a foreclosure filing in August, still up 165 percent from a year ago and a foreclosure rate of one in every 609 housing units.
Delaware foreclosure activity increased 45 percent from July to August, boosting the state’s foreclosure rate from No. 14 in July to number five in August. One in every 638 Delaware housing units had a foreclosure filing in August.
Georgia foreclosure activity in August decreased 15 percent from the previous month and was down 51 percent from a year ago—the 14th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease—helping to drop the state’s foreclosure rate to 11th highest nationwide. August was the first month since November 2009 where Georgia’s foreclosure rate ranked below the top 10 in the nation.
Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the 10 highest nationwide were Indiana (one in every 660 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Utah (one in every 697 housing units), Illinois (one in every 725 housing units), Connecticut (one in every 765 housing units), and South Carolina (one in every 813 housing units).
With one in every 201 housing units with a foreclosure filing in August, the Port St. Lucie metro area in southeast Florida posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more.
Five other Florida cities posted foreclosure rates among the top 10 highest nationwide: Jacksonville at two (one in every 304 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Miami at four (one in every 324 housing units); Ocala at five (one in every 328 housing units); Tampa at No. 6 (one in every 347 housing units); and Orlando at nine (one in every 386 housing units).
Las Vegas posted the nation’s third highest metro foreclosure rate—one in every 323 housing units with a foreclosure filing—thanks to a 90 percent monthly spike in foreclosure activity, and monthly spikes in foreclosure activity also boosted three Ohio cities into the top 10 highest metro foreclosure rates: Toledo at seven (one in every 384 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Cleveland at eight (also one in every 384 housing units); and Akron at 10 (one in every 393 housing units).
Despite an 18 percent year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity, Miami posted the highest foreclosure rate among the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas by population. Tampa’s foreclosure rate came in second highest among the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, followed by Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California, Chicago and Baltimore—where foreclosure activity increased 252 percent from a year ago. Baltimore was one of four cities 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. (nine percent increase).