Foreclosure filings -- default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions -- were reported on 243,353 properties in April, a 4 percent increase from March's total and a nearly 65 percent increase from one year earlier. The data, reported Wednesday
by foreclosure marketplace and data firm RealtyTrac
, shows that the housing market has yet to cycle through a preponderance of bad mortgages.
"The total number of U.S. properties with foreclosure activity in April was the highest monthly total we've seen since we began issuing the report in January 2005," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
"Although only about 2 percent of households nationwide are in foreclosure, these properties contribute to already bloated inventories of homes for sale, and put downward pressure on home values."
California, Nevada and Arizona continue to be particularly hard hit, Saccacio said.
Despite a 5 percent month-over-month decrease in foreclosure activity in April, Nevada continued to document the nation's highest state foreclosure rate: one in every 146 Nevada households received a foreclosure filing in April, 3.6 times the national average, and the state's foreclosure activity was up 95 percent from April 2007.
California posted the second highest state foreclosure rate in April, with one in every 204 households receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Foreclosure filings were reported on 64,683 California properties in April, down less than 1 percent from the previous month -- but still the most of any state -- and an increase of 112 percent from April 2007.
Arizona foreclosure activity in April increased 26 percent from the previous month and 181 percent from April 2007, helping to bump the state's foreclosure rate up to third highest among the states. Foreclosure filings were reported on 11,620 Arizona properties in March, equaling one in every 224 total households.
California, Florida dominate metro foreclosures
Six California cities documented foreclosure rates that ranked in the top 10 among the 230 metropolitan areas tracked in the RealtyTrac report. Merced took the top spot, with one in every 66 households receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, followed by Stockton at No. 2, Modesto at No. 3 and Riverside-San Bernardino at No. 4. Other California cities on the list were Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 6 and Bakersfield at No. 8.
Three Florida cities registered foreclosure rates among the top 10: Cape Coral-Fort Myers at No. 5; Port Lucie-Fort Pierce at No. 9; and Fort Lauderdale at No. 10.
With one in every 116 households received foreclosure filings in April, the Las Vegas metro area documented the nation's seventh highest metro rate, RealtyTrac said.
For more information, visit http://www.realtytrac.com