"After hitting a two-year high in March, U.S. foreclosure activity slipped slightly lower in April," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "Last year foreclosure activity subsided somewhat during the spring and summer months, thanks in part to increased interest from buyers. Whether the decrease in April is the beginning of a similar trend this year remains to be seen, but we expect foreclosure activity to at least stay above last year's levels for the remainder of 2007, fueled by a combustible mix of risky loans taken out in the last few years -- many in the subprime market -- and slowing home price appreciation."Not surprisingly, California is leading the pack with a 200 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure filing activity. What is surprising, however, is that the Golden State now ranks as the third largest in the nation in terms of REO volume, trailing only Texas and Ohio and coming in ahead of such traditionally high-REO states as Michigan and Georgia. With foreclosure filings continue to soar, you can bet REO volume will continue to skyrocket, too. Something tells me we're about to see all of those real estate agents that tried to cash in on the boom decide to try their hand at bank-owned real estate sales. Be sure to read the bottom of the press release to get the stats for each US state.
How to Read Numbers, Part 2: The Truth About Foreclosure Volume
You might recall an earlier post last week where I took the "market stats" provided by Foreclosures.com to task for being completely useless, since they failed to provide YOY comparisons. RealtyTrac released their foreclosure statistics yesterday, which seemed to illustrate what I suspect is much closer to the truth: that the pace of foreclosure filings and auctions have slowed down from earlier in the year, but remain significantly above year-ago levels. The Realty Trac numbers play that out -- foreclosure filings are up 62 percent year-over-year (!), while dipping slightly from last month's pace: