Foreclosure Filings Plummet in November

Realty Trac

12 December 2013

RealtyTrac: 37 Percent Drop in Filings Marks ‘Ninth Inning’ of Foreclosure Crisis

U.S. Foreclosure Activity Decreases 15 Percent in November Driven by 95-Month Low in Foreclosure Starts

15 Percent Decrease Biggest Monthly Drop Since November 2010
States Bucking National Downward Trend Include DE, MD, CT, PA and NY

IRVINE, Calif. – Dec. 12, 2013 — RealtyTrac®, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, today 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.”

Local broker quotes
“The Middle Tennessee housing market continues on a stable path maintaining overall market stability,” said Bob Parks, CEO of Bob Parks Realty, covering the Nashville and middle Tennessee market.  “We are enjoying a decline in foreclosure rates in line with the national average, which has allowed for an increase in home values, stabilization of home prices, and positive, consistent housing numbers we haven’t seen in five years.”

“The foreclosure trends in the Northern Utah housing market are aligned with, if not a little better, than what we’re experiencing on a national level,” said Steve Roney, CEO of Prudential Utah Real Estate, covering the Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah, markets.  “Foreclosures continue to decline and it’s beginning to feel like a ‘normal’ housing market again.”

“Most of the shadow inventory has been worked through in the Ohio housing market, and this inventory is being absorbed quickly,” said Michael Mahon, Executive Vice President/Broker at HER Realtors, covering the Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio markets.  “The decreasing amount of time it’s taking for properties to go through the foreclosure process is enabling lenders to keep properties in more stabilized conditions, which attracts higher prices and has assisted in creating moderate increases in appraised home values throughout the state.”

“Foreclosures continue to steadily decrease every month as the banks are catching up with their ghost and zombie foreclosure properties,” said Sheldon Detrick, CEO of Prudential Detrick/Alliance Realty, covering the Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., markets.  “There will always be defaults, but it’s clear that we are working our way back towards a normal housing market.”

“While 36 percent of the housing market in Reno, NV is still underwater on mortgages, homeowners are either holding onto their property or resolving issues through other distressed property options, which in turn has led to lower foreclosure activity in the area,” said Craig King, COO of Chase International, covering the Reno and Lake Tahoe markets.

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.

Report methodology
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the month — broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded in previous months. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee’s Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). The report does not count a property again if it receives the same type of foreclosure filing multiple times within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located.

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The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

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About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac is the nation’s leading source of comprehensive housing data, with more than 1.5 million active default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties, and more than 1 million active for-sale listings on its website, which also provides essential housing information for more than 100 million homes nationwide. This information includes property characteristics, tax assessor records, bankruptcy status and sales history, along with 20 categories of key housing-related facts provided by RealtyTrac’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Homefacts®. RealtyTrac’s foreclosure reports and other housing data are relied on by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.