RealtyTrac has released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for July 2014, which shows foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions—were reported on 109,434 U.S. properties in July, an increase of two percent from the previous month but still down 16 percent from a year ago. The report also shows one in every 1,203 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.
“July was the 46th consecutive month where U.S. foreclosure activity was down on a year-over-year basis,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “After nearly four years of falling foreclosures, we are starting to see evidence that foreclosure numbers are normalizing at the national level. The 16 percent decrease in July was exactly half the annual decrease we saw a year ago in July 2013, when U.S. foreclosure activity was down 32 percent on a year-over-year basis."
“The number of state and local markets with persistent foreclosure problems is becoming fewer and farther between, although there were some surprise spikes in foreclosure activity in July in markets that had previously been experiencing long-term downward trends in foreclosure activity,” Blomquist noted. “For example, Houston foreclosure activity jumped 66 percent in July compared to a year ago following 23 consecutive months of decreases, and Los Angeles foreclosure activity was up 10 percent from a year ago following 31 consecutive months of decreases.”
Other high-level findings from the report:
►A total of 49,624 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in July, a five percent increase from the previous month, but still down 18 percent from a year ago — the 24th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in U.S. foreclosure starts.
►Despite the annual decrease nationally, foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 14 states, including Nevada (up 128 percent), Texas (up 29 percent), New York (up 17 percent), Massachusetts (up 12 percent), and Michigan (up six percent).
►A total of 51,595 U.S. properties were scheduled for foreclosure auction in July, up 10 percent from the previous month but still down three percent from a year ago. Non-judicial foreclosure auctions — those in states not requiring a judge to file a judgment for the foreclosure auction to proceed — increased 26 percent from June to July, but were still down seven percent on a year-over-year basis.
►Despite the annual decrease nationally, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased from a year ago in 20 states, including New Jersey (up 105 percent), Oregon (up 50 percent), Louisiana (up 32 percent), Utah (up 30 percent), Connecticut (up 18 percent), and New York (up 16 percent).
►A total of 25,937 U.S. properties were repossessed by lenders via foreclosure (REO) in July, down four percent from the previous month and down 30 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since April 2007.
►Despite the decrease nationally, bank repossessions increased from a year ago in seven states, including Maryland (up 77 percent), California (up 22 percent), Oregon (up 13 percent), and New Jersey (up 12 percent).
Rising foreclosure activity bucks national trend in five of 20 largest metro areas
Foreclosure activity increased from a year ago in five of the nation’s 20 most populous metropolitan statistical areas, bucking the national trend.
The Houston metro area posted the biggest annual increase in foreclosure activity from a year ago among the 20 largest metro areas, up 66 percent. The increase in Houston came on the heels of 23 consecutive months of decreasing foreclosure activity on an annual basis and was driven primarily by a 116 percent jump in scheduled foreclosure auctions — the first public notice starting the foreclosure process in Texas.
Washington, D.C., documented the second highest annual increase in foreclosure activity in July, up 24 percent from a year ago. July marked the 14th out of the last 17 months where DC metro area foreclosure activity has increased on an annual basis.
Thanks to rebounding bank repossessions (REOs), Southern California metro areas posted annual increases in foreclosure activity following 31 consecutive months of decreasing activity on a year-over-year basis. San Diego overall foreclosure activity increased 12 percent from a year ago thanks to a 40 percent jump in REOs; Los Angeles overall foreclosure activity increased 10 percent from a year ago thanks to a 58 percent jump in REOs; and Riverside-San Bernardino foreclosure activity increased three percent from a year ago thanks to a 27 percent jump in REOs.
Florida, Maryland, Nevada, Illinois, Ohio post top state foreclosure rates
Florida foreclosure activity decreased 30 percent on a year-over-year basis in July — the 12th consecutive month with an annual decrease — but the state still posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the 10th consecutive month. One in every 469 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing in July, more than two and a half times the national average.
Maryland foreclosure activity in July increased five percent from the previous month and was up nine percent from a year ago — continuing a two-year trend in rising foreclosure activity in the state. One in every 553 Maryland housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month, the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate for the sixth consecutive month.
Following nine consecutive months of annual decreases, Nevada foreclosure activity in July increased 15 percent from a year ago and was up 36 percent on a month-over-month basis, boosting the state’s foreclosure rate to third highest nationally after ranking sixth highest in June. One in every 639 Nevada housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.
Illinois foreclosure activity decreased nine percent from a year ago in July, the 20th consecutive month where the state’s foreclosure activity has decreased on an annual basis, but Illinois still posted the nation’s fourth highest foreclosure rate: one in every 747 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
Ohio foreclosure activity decreased 24 percent from a year ago in July, the 11th consecutive month where the state’s foreclosure activity has decreased on an annual basis, but Ohio still posted the nation’s fifth highest foreclosure rate: one in every 839 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
"The Ohio markets have noticed an overall reduction in sales volume since the first of the year as well as reduction in foreclosure sales volume throughout the state," said Michael Mahon, executive vice president/ broker at HER Realtors, covering the Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio markets. "As prices continue to rise, our anticipation is that foreclosures will continue to decline as home owners experience restored, higher equity levels."
Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation’s 10 highest in July were South Carolina at number six (one in every 893 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Indiana at number seven (one in every 911 housing units); Delaware at number eight (one in every 948 housing units); Utah at number nine (one in every 1,010 housing units); and California at No. 10 (one in every 1,032 housing units).
Florida cities account for eight of 10 highest metro foreclosure rates
Florida accounted for the eight highest foreclosure rates among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more in July, led by Ocala at number one, with one in every 296 housing units with a foreclosure filing — more than four times the national average.
The other Florida cities in the top 10 were Orlando-Kissimmee at number two (one in every 357 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville at number three (one every 404 housing units); Lakeland at number four (one in every 407 housing units); Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at number five (one in every 421 housing units); Port St. Lucie at number six (one in every 434 housing units); Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater at number seven (one in every 448 housing units); and Cape Coral-Fort Myers at number eight (one in every 478 housing units).
The two cities outside of Florida with top 10 foreclosure rates were Columbia, S.C., at number nine (one in every 484 housing units with a foreclosure filing); and Akron, Ohio, at No. 10 (one in every 525 housing units).