Residential Foreclosures Down in First Half but Only Because Lenders OK Short Sales
Numbers don't lie but they often don't tell the whole story, as Irvine, CA-based RealtyTrac acknowledged today. Residential foreclosures in the first half were down 5 percent from the last six months in 2009, but only because lenders were approving short sales. That is, allowing the homeowner to sell the house for less than the amount of mortgage owed.
Compared to the first half of 2009, however, the 2010 numbers showed an 8 percent increase in total properties from the first six months of 2009.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 313,841 U.S. properties in June, a decrease of nearly 3 percent from the previous month and a decrease of nearly 7 percent from June 2009.
However, June was the sixteenth straight month where the total number of properties with foreclosure filings exceeded 300,000. That means the housing industry as a whole remains fragile, says RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio.
"The second quarter was a tale of two trends," said Saccacio.
"The pace of properties entering foreclosure slowed as lenders pre-empted or delayed foreclosure proceedings on delinquent properties with more aggressive short sale and loan modification initiatives.
"Meanwhile the pace of properties completing the foreclosure process through bank repossession quickened as lenders cleared out a backlog of distressed inventory delayed by foreclosure prevention efforts in 2009."
Saccacio adds, "The midyear numbers put us on pace to exceed 3 million properties with foreclosure filings by the end of the year, and more than 1 million bank repossessions.
"The roller coaster pattern of foreclosure activity over the past 12 months demonstrates that while the foreclosure problem is being managed on the surface, a massive number of distressed properties and underwater loans continue to sit just below the surface, threatening the fragile stability of the housing market."
A total of 1,961,894 foreclosure filings -- default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions -- were reported on 1,654,634 U.S. properties in the first six months of 2010.
The report also shows that 1.28 percent of all U.S. housing units (one in 78) received at least one foreclosure filing in the first half of the year.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 895,521 U.S. properties during the second quarter, a decrease of nearly 4 percent from the previous quarter and an increase of less than 1 percent from the second quarter of 2009.
Default and auction notices were down on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis in the first quarter, but bank repossessions (REOs) increased 5 percent from the previous quarter and 38 percent from Q2 2009 to 269,962 -- a new quarterly high for the report. Nevada, Arizona, Florida post top state foreclosure rates
Nearly 6 percent of all Nevada housing units (one in 17) received at least one foreclosure filing in the first half of 2010, giving Nevada the nation's highest foreclosure rate during the six-month period despite decreasing foreclosure activity.
A total of 64,429 Nevada properties received a foreclosure filing from January to June, a decrease of 13 percent from the previous six months and a decrease of 6 percent from the first six months of 2009.
Arizona registered the nation's second highest state foreclosure rate in the first half of 2010, with 3.36 percent of its housing units (one in 30) receiving a foreclosure filing, and Florida registered the nation's third highest state foreclosure rate, with 3.15 percent of its housing units (one in 32) receiving a foreclosure filing during the six months.
Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation's 10 highest were California (2.54 percent), Utah (1.91 percent), Georgia (1.79 percent), Michigan (1.73 percent), Idaho (1.68 percent), Illinois (1.61 percent), and Colorado (1.40 percent).California, Florida, Arizona post highest foreclosure totals
A total of 340,740 California properties received a foreclosure filing in the first half of 2010, the nation's highest total but down 15 percent from the previous six months and down nearly 13 percent from the first six months of 2009.
With 277,073 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in the first six months of 2010, Florida documented the second highest state total. First-half foreclosure activity in Florida decreased nearly 9 percent from the previous six months but increased 3 percent from the first half of 2009.
Arizona's 91,484 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in the first six months of 2010 was the third highest state total even though the state's foreclosure activity decreased nearly 2 percent from the previous six months. Arizona foreclosure activity in the first half of 2010 was still up nearly 2 percent from the first half of 2009.
Other states with first-half totals among the 10 highest in the country were Illinois (85,223), Michigan (78,509), Georgia (71,949), Texas (64,883), Nevada (64,429), Ohio (59,927), and New Jersey (36,542).U.S. Foreclosure Market Data by State - Jan to Jun 2010
U.S. Foreclosure Market Data by State - Q2 2010
U.S. Foreclosure Market Data by State - June 2010