Foreclosure filings down 1%, bank repos up 4%
Uptick is sign some markets working through final dregs
Property foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 115,830 properties in April, a 1% decline from the previous month and down 20% from April 2013.
RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report shows one in every 1,137 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing in April.
However, bank repossessions in April increased 4% from the previous month, although they were still down 14% from a year ago. There were a total of 30,056 bank repossessions nationwide in April.
Bank repossessions increased from the previous month in 26 states and were up from a year ago in 16 states, including New York (142% increase), Oregon (91% increase), New Jersey (58% increase), Illinois (55% increase), Indiana (52% increase), Maryland (45% increase), Connecticut (44% increase), California (27% increase), and Nevada (15% increase).
“The rise in bank repossessions in many states is a sign that those markets are working through the final remnants of foreclosures left over from the recent housing crisis,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Many of these bank-owned homes are bottom-of-the-barrel properties in terms of location or condition, but they will provide some much-wanted inventory of homes for sale in some markets in the coming months. Investors and other buyers willing to do more extensive rehab will likely be best-suited for these incoming REOs.”
A total of 49,239 U.S. properties were scheduled for a future foreclosure auction in April, down 3% from the previous month and down 21% from a year ago — the 41st consecutive month where scheduled foreclosure auctions decreased annually.
“Foreclosure activity continues to dwindle in Southern California as home prices increase and the banks work through ridding housing inventory that is more difficult to sell,” said Chris Pollinger, senior vice president of sales at First Team Real Estate, covering the Southern California market.
Scheduled auctions increased from the previous month in 22 states and were up from a year ago in 17 states, including Oregon (up 229%), Utah (up 101%), Colorado (up 87%), New Jersey (up 73%), Alabama (up 25%), New York (up 25%), and Florida (up 8%).
A total of 54,613 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in April, down 2% from the previous month and down 22% from a year ago — the 21st consecutive month where U.S. foreclosure starts decreased annually.
“Foreclosure activity continues to decrease, becoming an insignificant part of the overall housing market,” said Sheldon Detrick, CEO of Prudential Detrick/Alliance Realty, covering the Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., markets. “In my markets we are back to pre-recession home values. This appreciation is occurring in spite of the fact that closed transactions are down 1% compared to last year.”
Foreclosure starts, which are scheduled auctions in some states, increased from the previous month in 26 states and were up from a year ago in 16 states, including Massachusetts (up 101%), Indiana (up 60%), New Jersey (up 15%), and Wisconsin (up 13%).
Florida foreclosure activity decreased 9% from a year ago in April, but the state still posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the seventh consecutive month. One in every 400 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month, nearly three times the national average.
Maryland foreclosure activity increased from a year ago for the 22nd consecutive month in April, helping the state maintain the nation’s second-highest foreclosure rate for the third consecutive month. One in every 624 Maryland housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.
Delaware foreclosure activity increased 8% from a year ago in April, giving it the nation’s third-highest state foreclosure rate for the month: one in every 657 housing units with a foreclosure filing. Delaware foreclosure activity has increased on an annual basis in 11 of the last 14 months.
Indiana foreclosure activity in April increased 13% from a year ago — the second consecutive month with an annual increase in foreclosure activity — and the state posted the nation’s fourth highest foreclosure rate for the month: one in every 681 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
New Jersey foreclosure activity in April increased 29% from a year ago — the fifth consecutive month with an annual increase in foreclosure activity — and the state posted the nation’s fifth highest state foreclosure rate for the month: one in every 700 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were Illinois (one in every 706 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Ohio (one in every 750 housing units), Nevada (one in every 770 housing units), Connecticut (one in every 887 housing units), and South Carolina (one in every 890 housing units).