The third quarter of this year saw a total of 143,105 properties with foreclosure filings, down six percent from the previous quarter and down 19 percent from a year ago, according to new statistics from ATTOM Data Solutions. This marks the lowest level of foreclosure activity since the second quarter of 2005 and the 12th consecutive quarter where foreclosure activity has registered below the pre-recession average of 278,912 properties with foreclosure filings.
Lenders started the foreclosure process on 78,394 properties in the third quarter, down 8 percent from the previous quarter and down 15 percent from a year ago. This marked the 17th consecutive quarter with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure starts. Lenders repossessed 34,432 properties through foreclosure in the third quarter, up 6 percent from the previous quarter but down 33 percent from a year ago. Properties foreclosed during the third quarter were in the foreclosure process an average of 841 days, up from 716 days in the previous quarter and up from 713 days in the third quarter of 2018 – marking the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2017.
“Foreclosure activity continues to decline across the country, which is a good sign that the housing market and the broader economy remain strong–and that the lending excesses that helped bring down the economy during the Great Recession remain a memory,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “This is not to say that everything in the latest foreclosure picture is rosy. Some states have seen their foreclosure rates increase this year, which could cause some concern. But overall, the foreclosure numbers reflect a market in which buyers can afford their homes and lenders remain careful in loaning to home buyers who have little chance of repaying.”