RealtyTrac released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for November, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 113,454 U.S. properties in November, a 15 percent decrease from the previous month and a 37 percent decrease from a year ago. The report also shows one in every 1,155 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.
The 15 percent monthly decrease in November was the biggest month-over-month decrease since November 2010 when U.S. foreclosure activity plummeted 21 percent in one month following the revelation of the so-called robo-signing scandal in October 2010.
High-level findings from the report:
►A total of 52,826 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in November, down 10 percent from the previous month and down 32 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since December 2005, when 49,236 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process.
►November foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 15 states, including Pennsylvania (up 233 percent), Delaware (up 104 percent), Maryland (up 74 percent), Oregon (up 38 percent), and Connecticut (up 37 percent).
►There were a total of 30,461 U.S. bank repossessions (REO) in November, down 19 percent from the previous month and down 48 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since July 2007, a 76-month low.
►Only five states posted year-over-year increases in REOs: Delaware (179 percent increase), Maryland (41 percent increase), Connecticut (9 percent increase), Maine (6 percent increase), and Iowa (2 percent increase).
►Scheduled foreclosure auctions (which are foreclosure starts in some states) in November increased from a year ago in 19 states, including Oregon (726 percent increase), Massachusetts (217 percent increase), Utah (214 percent increase), Connecticut (199 percent increase), Delaware (104 percent increase), and New York (34 percent increase).
►States with the highest foreclosure rates were Florida, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, and Illinois. Among metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more, those with the highest foreclosure rates were the Florida cities of Jacksonville, Miami, Port St. Lucie and Palm Bay, along with Rockford, Ill.
►Among the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, those with the highest foreclosure rates were in Miami, Tampa, Chicago, Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California, and Baltimore. Only three of the 20 largest metros posted annual increases in foreclosure activity: Baltimore (up 46 percent), Philadelphia (up 34 percent), and Washington, D.C. (up 6 percent).
“While some of the decrease in November can be attributed to seasonality, the depth and breadth of the decrease provides strong evidence that we are entering the ninth inning of this foreclosure crisis with the outcome all but guaranteed,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “While foreclosures will likely continue to stage a weak rally in certain markets next year as the last of the distress left over from the Great Recession is dealt with, it is highly unlikely that there will be a foreclosure comeback that poses any major threat to the solid housing recovery that has now taken hold.”
Florida, Delaware and Maryland post top state foreclosure rates
Florida foreclosure activity in November decreased 15 percent from the previous month and was down 23 percent from a year ago — the fourth consecutive month with an annual decrease — but the state still maintained the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate, one in every 392 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
The overall decrease in Florida foreclosure activity was driven by a 46 percent annual decrease in foreclosure starts and a 16 percent annual decrease in in bank repossessions, but scheduled auctions in Florida increased 2 percent from a year ago — the 11th consecutive month where scheduled foreclosure auctions increased on a year-over-year basis in Florida.
Delaware foreclosure activity spiked 56 percent from October to November and was up 141 percent year-over-year, boosting the state’s foreclosure rate to second highest in the country. One in every 480 Delaware housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month, and foreclosure activity in Delaware has now increased on an annual basis in seven of the last nine months.
Despite a 16 percent monthly decrease, Maryland foreclosure activity continued to increase on annual basis in November, up 42 percent from a year ago, helping the state post the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate: one in every 618 housing units with a foreclosure filing. November marked the 17th consecutive month where Maryland foreclosure activity increased on an annual basis.
Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation’s 10 highest in November were South Carolina (one in every 660 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Illinois (one in every 700 housing units), Ohio (one in every 757 housing units), Connecticut (one in every 768 housing units), Nevada (one in every 859 housing units), Iowa (one in every 869 housing units), and Utah (one in every 889 housing units).
Florida, Illinois, South Carolina cities rank in top 10 metro foreclosure rates
Eight of the top 10 foreclosure rates in November among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more were in Florida. Jacksonville posted the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate for the month: one in every 288 housing units with a foreclosure filing — more than four times the national average.
Other Florida metros with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest in November were Miami at No. 2 (one in every 307 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Port St. Lucie at No. 3 (one in every 341 housing units); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville at No. 4 (one in every 343 housing units); Orlando at No. 6 (one in every 384 housing units); Tampa at No. 8 (one in every 410 housing units); Sarasota at No. 9 (one in every 432 housing units); and Ocala at No. 10 (one in every 454 housing units).
All eight Florida metro areas in the top 10 posted year-over-year declines in foreclosure activity.
The other two metros ranking among the top 10 were Rockford, Ill., at No. 5 with one in every 355 housing units with a foreclosure filing, and Charleston, S.C., at No. 7 with one in every 395 housing units with a foreclosure filing.