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Foreclosure Activity Drops 37 Percent in U.S.

Foreclosure Activity Drops 37 Percent in U.S.

Foreclosure filings in the U.S. dropped 37 percent in November, compared to a year ago, according to the latest data from RealtyTrac.

There was a total of 113,454 homes with foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - decreasing 15 percent from October.

The 15 percent monthly drop was the largest month-over-month decrease since November 2010, RealtyTrac reports.

Thumbnail image for Daren-Blomquist-VP.jpg

Daren Blomquist

"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," Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in the report.

The report shows a 15 percent monthly drop in foreclosure filings in Florida, as well as a 23 percent drop from a year ago - the fourth consecutive month of yearly decreases for Florida. However, foreclosures continue to be a problem for the state as it still maintains the country's highest foreclosure rate; one in every 392 Florida homes has a foreclosure filing.

With an astonishing 141 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity, Delaware now has the nation's second highest foreclosure rate. It is followed by Maryland, which recorded a 42 percent yearly increase in foreclosure activity in November, RealtyTrac reports.

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).

Looking ahead to 2014, RealtyTrac doesn't expect a continued housing market will be hindered by increased foreclosures.

"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," Mr. Blomquist said.

More 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).

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