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July 31, 2014

Foreclosure Activity Drops to 8-Year Lows

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Foreclosure Activity Drops to 8-Year Lows

Foreclosure starts, filings, and auctions all fell to nearly eight-year lows last month, RealtyTrac reported this week in its latest U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for May.

Foreclosure starts fell to the lowest level since December 2005, while foreclosure filings were at the lowest monthly level since December 2006 at 109,824 properties nationwide in the foreclosure pipeline in May. 

Lenders also repossessed fewer homes in May, down 27 percent from a year ago, and repossessions were at the lowest monthly levels since July 2007.

"This is showing that foreclosures are fading further into the rear-view mirror in most places," Daren Blomquist, a vice president of RealtyTrac, told Reuters. "This is good news for the housing market. ... I think the numbers will continue to drop and could flatline by early next year.”

Despite the nationwide drop, 11 states posted annual increases in foreclosure activity last month, RealtyTrac reports. The states with the highest annual increases in foreclosure activity included: 

  • Massachusetts, up 58% from year ago levels
  • New Jersey, up 37%
  • New York, up 18%
  • Indiana, up 12%

“It’s not surprising that some of the states with the longest foreclosure timelines are those with markets still dealing with increasing foreclosure activity even as the country as a whole continues to hit new lows,” Blomquist notes. “On the other hand, the increase in bank repossessions in some states with shorter foreclosure timelines like California and Oregon demonstrates there is still some pent-up foreclosure activity in those states as well.”

Foreclosure starts also were up in 12 states from a year ago, including: 

  • Massachusetts: up 178% 
  • Indiana, up 67%
  • Delaware, up 26%
  • New Jersey, up 15%
  • New York, up 14%

Source: RealtyTrac and “U.S. Foreclosure Activity Falls to 8-Year Low in May: RealtyTrac,” Reuters (June 10, 2014)

Read more:

Some States Still Face Final Foreclosure Surge
3 Hidden Costs of the Foreclosure Crisis