Foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2017 plummeted as 102 out of 216 metro areas fell below pre-recession levels, according to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a fused property database.
As these 47% of metros fell below pre-crisis levels, foreclosure filings including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions were reported on 234,508 properties in the first quarter. This is down 19% from last year, and down 11% from the fourth quarter 2016 to the lowest level since the third quarter 2006.
This quarterly decrease comes as no surprise as February’s report showed foreclosure activity dropped to an 11-year low for the 17th consecutive month of annual decreases.
In fact, the first quarter foreclosure activity was down 16% from the pre-recession average of 278,912 foreclosure filings per quarter.
“U.S. foreclosure activity on a quarterly basis first dipped below pre-recession averages in the fourth quarter of last year, and this report shows that trend continuing for the second consecutive quarter,” ATTOM Senior Vice President Daren Blomquist said. “The number of local markets dropping below pre-recession levels continues to grow, up from 78 a year ago to 102 in this report.”
A total of 83,145 properties had foreclosure filings in March, an increase of 1% from last month but still down 24% from last year, marking the 18th consecutive month of annual decreases in foreclosure activity.
And while foreclosure activity dropped over the quarter, foreclosure starts increased in March for the second consecutive month. Properties that started the foreclosure process increased 6% to 36,370 during the month. However, this is still down 24% from a year ago.
Among 216 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in March were Trenton, New Jersey with one in every 355 housing units with a foreclosure filing; Atlantic City, New Jersey, with one in every 452 homes; Philadelphia, with one in every 577 homes; Rockford, Illinois, with one in every 631 homes and Peoria, Illinois, with one in every 710 homes.