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Ft Lauderdale Real Estate News 05/10/13

Real estate foreclosure filings down 23% year over year to a 74 month low as housing market strengthens


RealtyTrac released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for April 2013 today. It finds that foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 144,790 U.S. properties in April, a decrease of 5 percent from the previous month and down 23 percent from April 2012.

Total foreclosure activity hit a 74-month low in April – at its lowest level since February 2007.

Foreclosure activity represents all homes in the foreclosure process, including those that received a first notice. The drop suggests stability.

On the other side of the coin, judicial foreclosure auctions represent homes leaving the foreclosure process in states such as Florida where they go through the court system. Nationally, judicial foreclosure auctions increased 22 percent and 31 percent year-to-year, suggesting a new push to move foreclosure inventory.

Scheduled foreclosure auctions increased from a year ago in 15 of the nation’s 26 judicial or quasi-judicial foreclosure states, including Florida, where they rose 55 percent.

Other judicial states saw an even bigger boost, including Maryland (199 percent increase), New Jersey (91 percent increase), Ohio (73 percent increase) and Oklahoma (57 percent increase).

On a RealtyTrac city analysis, Florida had five cities in the top 10 for foreclosure rates, including No. 2 Ocala (one in every 255 housing units had at least one foreclosure filing), No. 3 Miami (one in every 269 units), No. 4 Orlando (one in every 287 units), No. 7 Jacksonville (one in every 345 units) and No. 9 Tampa at No. 9 (one in every 384 units).

Nationally, one in every 905 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing during April.

“The April numbers indicate that the pig is moving through the python when it comes to deferred foreclosures in judicial foreclosure states,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

“Foreclosure starts have been increasing for several months in many of the judicial states, and now that increased volume is showing up in the second stage of the process: the public foreclosure auction,” he adds. “Scheduled foreclosure auctions in judicial states jumped to a 30-month high in April, evidence that lenders are serious about moving forward with completing the foreclosure process – either through repossession or sale to a third party investor at public auction.

Other report findings

• Scheduled non-judicial foreclosure auctions in states where foreclosures don’t need to go through the court system were down 7 percent in April from March and 43 percent year-to-year. These auctions were at an 88-month low – since April December 2005.

• A total of 70,133 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in April, down 4 percent from the previous month and down 28 percent from a year ago.

• Lenders repossessed 34,997 U.S. properties in April, down 20 percent from March and down 32 percent from April 2012 to the lowest level since July 2007 – a 69-month low.

• Lender repossessions (REO) decreased from a year ago in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

• Non-Florida cities in the top 10 for foreclosure rates include No. 1 Akron, Ohio, with a 147 percent annual increase; Columbus, Ohio; Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Chicago.

• At the beginning of May, A total of 11.3 million mortgages nationwide were seriously underwater, meaning combined amount of mortgages secured by the home was at least 25 percent more than the estimated value of the home. That represented 26 percent of all outstanding mortgages, but it’s down nearly 1.5 million from the 12.8 million seriously underwater mortgages in May 2012.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

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Jim Esposito

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