Foreclosures Move Higher, Again; REO Volume Up 90 Percent Nationally
The home foreclosure train isn't slowing down yet. The number of foreclosure filings -- default notices, auction sales notices and bank repossessions -- rose 8 percent on a monthly comparison basis during January, with 233,001 properties recording some form of foreclosure action during the month. Forty-eight percent of filings represented new borrower defaults, indicating that troubles in the nation's housing markets have yet to recede. January's totals represent an increase of nearly 57 percent from year-ago levels, according to data released Tuesday by property listing service RealtyTrac. REO properties in total increased 90 percent versus last January. "January’s foreclosure numbers demonstrate that foreclosure activity is continuing on its upward trend, substantially increasing from a year ago in many states," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "However, the 8 percent monthly increase in January is not as precipitous as the 19 percent spike we saw in January of 2007, and several key states actually experienced decreasing foreclosure activity from the previous month." Saccacio said that effort by the Bush adminstration and industry officials to stem the tide of foreclosures may be beginning to take effect, in spite of the monthly increase. "The big question is whether those efforts are truly helping homeowners avoid foreclosure in the long term or if they are just temporarily forestalling the inevitable for many beleaguered borrowers,” he said. http://www.realtytrac.com.