For the first six months of 2013, RealtyTrac reported a total of 801,359 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, which include default notices, schedules auctions and bank repossessions. This is down 19% from the previous six months and a 23% drop from the first half of 2012.
The RealtyTrac report also revealed that 0.61% of all U.S. housing units — one in 164 — had at least one foreclosure filing in the first six months of the year.
In June, a total of 127,790 U.S. properties had foreclosure filings, down 14% from the previous month and a 35% decline from one-year prior. This marks the lowest monthly level since December 2006.
What's more, foreclosure starts in June fell 21% from the month before and were down 45% from a year ago, falling to the lowest monthly level since December 2005.
Year-to-date, 409,491 foreclosure starts have been filed throughout the country, on pace to reach more than 800,000, which would be down from 1.1 million foreclosure starts in 2012.
"Halfway through 2013 it is becoming increasingly evident that while foreclosures are no longer a problem nationally they continue to be a thorn in the side of several state and local markets, particularly where a backlog of delayed distress has built up thanks to a lengthy foreclosure process," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
In June, foreclosure starts dropped from the month before in 38 states, with the biggest declines being Nevada and Colorado, down 84% and 62%, respectively.
REOs in June dropped 9% from the previous month and were down 35% from one-year prior. In the first six months of 2013, a total of 248,538 bank repossessions have occurred nationwide. This is on pace for nearly 500,000 for the year, which would be down from more than 671,000 in 2012.
In June, REOs fell from one-year prior in 34 states, but there were some notable exceptions, where bank repossessions actually increased from a year ago. The biggest exceptions were Arkansas and Oklahoma, up 143% and 103%, respectively.
Judicial foreclosure auctions increased less than 1% from May, with 28,296 judicial foreclosure auctions scheduled in June. However, this was up 34% from June 2012. New Jersey and Florida were the most notable increases, up 103% and 100% annually.
Blomquist added, "The increases in judicial foreclosure auctions demonstrate that these delayed foreclosure cases are now being moved more quickly through to foreclosure completion. Given the rising home prices in most of these markets, it is an opportune time for lenders to dispose of these distressed properties, either at the foreclosure auction to a third-party buyer, or by repossessing the property at the auction and subsequently selling it as a bank-owned home."
Florida, Nevada, Illinois, Ohio and Georgia posted the top five state foreclosure rates for the first half of the year, while five Florida cities posted the top five metro foreclosure rates: Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala and Tampa.