Foreclosures increase 2% in 2010, decline in hotspots
For the first year since the financial crisis began, annual foreclosure auction filings in California, Arizona and Nevada declined. ForeclosureRadar, which tracks foreclosure data on the West Coast, reported 338,999 foreclosure starts in California in 2010, down 33% from one year prior. Arizona filings fell 18% to 119,790, and Nevada filings fell 19% to 86,010. Foreclosure starts in the Northwest increased, however — up 10% to 24,574 in Oregon and up 14% to 42,161 in Washington, according to ForeclosureRadar. Foreclosure sales dropped in Nevada and Arizona in 2009, down 6% and 26%, respectively. The data firm reported that California foreclosure sales also fell for the second consecutive year, down 6% from 2009. In 2008, foreclosure filings in the state fell 20%. Oregon foreclosure sales increased the most out of every state tracked by ForeclosureRadar last year, up 39% to 16,781. Sales were up 14% in Washington. Foreclosure sales were postponed all over the country in the second half of the year, as many state attorneys general enacted foreclosure moratoriums in lieu of the robo-signing scandal. On a national basis, 2.9 million U.S. properties received a foreclosure filing in 2010, a 2% increase from one year prior. According to data from ratings agency DBRS, a total of 3.8 million default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions were filed. In the fourth quarter alone, 799,064 foreclosures were filed, down 8% from a year prior and down 14% form the third quarter. The fourth quarter total was the lowest quarterly total since 2008, DBRS said. DBRS reported that California, Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Michigan account for 51% of the nation's foreclosure activity last year. About 1.5 million properties in those five states received a foreclosure filing. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.