U.S. Foreclosure Activity Decreases 10% in January 2010


February 11, 2010

RealtyTrac, one of the leading online marketplaces for foreclosure properties, released its January 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions—were reported on 315,716 U.S. properties during the month, a decrease of nearly 10% from the previous month but still 15% above the level reported in January 2009. The report also shows one in every 409 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in January.

REO activity nationwide was down 5% from the previous month but still up 31% from January 2009; default notices were down 12% from the previous month but still up 4% from January 2009; and scheduled foreclosure auctions were down 11% from the previous month but still up 15% from January 2009.

“January foreclosure numbers are exhibiting a pattern very similar to a year ago: a double-digit percentage jump in December foreclosure activity followed by a 10% drop in January,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac “If history repeats itself we will see a surge in the numbers over the next few months as lenders foreclose on delinquent loans where neither the existing loan modification programs or the new short sale and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure alternatives works.”

Nevada, Arizona, California, Florida post top state foreclosure rates
Despite a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity of nearly 18%, Nevada’s foreclosure rate remained highest among the states for the 37th straight month. One in every 95 Nevada housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month—more than four times the national average.

A 4% month-over-month increase in foreclosure activity boosted Arizona’s foreclosure rate to second highest among the states in January. One in every 129 Arizona housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

Foreclosure activity decreased by double-digit percentages from the previous month in both California and Florida, and the two states registered nearly identical foreclosure rates—one in every 187 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing. California’s foreclosure rate was statistically higher by a slim margin and ranked third highest among the states while Florida’s foreclosure rate ranked fourth highest.

With one in every 231 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, Utah registered the nation’s fifth highest state foreclosure rate despite a nearly 12% month-over-month decrease in foreclosure activity.

Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation’s 10 highest were Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Oregon and Georgia.

Six states account for nearly 60% of national total
California, Florida and Arizona posted the three highest state totals in terms of properties receiving foreclosure filings in January, and together those states accounted for more than 44% of the national total.
Illinois posted the nation’s fourth highest total in January, with 18,120 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the month—a nearly 2% increase from the previous month and a 25% increase from January 2009.

Michigan posted the nation’s fifth highest total, with 17,574 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, and Texas posted the sixth highest total, with 12,225 properties receiving a foreclosure filing.

Other states with totals among the 10 highest in the country were Nevada (11,854), Georgia (11,274), Ohio (11,105) and New Jersey (6,146).

Phoenix only top 10 metro area to post monthly foreclosure increase
Phoenix foreclosure activity increased nearly 4% from the previous month, and one in every 102 Phoenix housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month—the second highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan areas with a population of at least 200,000. Phoenix was the only metro area among the top 10 to post a month-over-month increase in foreclosure activity.

Las Vegas documented the highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 82 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, despite a nearly 2% decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month and a nearly 21% decrease in foreclosure activity from January 2009.

Six California cities registered foreclosure rates among the top 10: Modesto at No. 3 (one in every 107 housing units); Stockton at No. 4 (one in 107); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario at No. 5 (one in 109); Merced at No. 6 (one in 109); Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 7 (one in 112); and Bakersfield at No. 8 (one in 118).

Two Florida cities rounded out the top 10: Cape Coral-Fort Myers at No. 9 (one in 121); and Orlando-Kissimmee at No. 10 (one in 143).