RealtyTrac’s Foreclosure Market Report for November shows foreclosure filings – all default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – decreased 15 percent from the previous month and 37 percent year-to-year.
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.
While the drop reflects all homes somewhere within the foreclosure process, a decline in the number of homes receiving their first foreclosure notice reflects a stronger improvement. 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 32 percent from a year ago, hitting its lowest level since December 2005.
In Florida, the percentage drop in owners receiving a first-time foreclosure notice was also dramatic. The state had 6,744 foreclosure starts in November, an 18.02 percent decline month-to-month and a 45.9 percent drop year-to-year.
The number of Florida foreclosure completions – the final step where a lender takes back the home – also dropped in November, though not as dramatically. Completed state foreclosures were down 2.72 percent month-to-month and 15.59 percent year-to-year.
Florida foreclosure activity in November – starts, in progress and completions – decreased 15 percent from the previous month and 23 percent from a year ago for the fourth consecutive month with an annual decrease. However, the state still has the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate: one in every 392 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
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.
“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,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
“While foreclosures will likely continue to stage a weak rally in certain markets next year … 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,” he adds.
Foreclosure Market Report highlights
• 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 (REOs) in November, down 19 percent from the previous month and 48 percent from a year ago. It’s the lowest level since July 2007 for 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).
• Among the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, those with the highest foreclosure rates were 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).
© 2013 Florida Realtors®
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