The number of properties involved in foreclosure filings continued to rise in the first half of 2009 (HI09), up 15% from the same period in 2008, according to the Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac’s mid-year US Foreclosure Market Report, released Thursday. RealtyTrac reported a total of 1,905,723 foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — on 1,528,364 properties from January to June 2009. Those more than 1.5m properties represent a 9% increase in total properties from July to December 2008, and represents 1.19% — one in 84 — of all US housing units. There were at least 300,000 filings every month from March to June, bringing the second-quarter total to its highest level — 889,829 total filings — since RealtyTrac began its report in Q105. RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio said unemployment-related foreclosures are keeping levels up, despite industry moratoria and federal, state and municipal efforts to curb foreclosures. “Stemming the tide of foreclosures is a critical component to stabilizing the housing market, so it is imperative that the lending industry and the government work in tandem to find new approaches to address this issue,” Saccacio said in a release. Nevada had the greatest number of foreclosure filings, with more than 6% — one in 16 — housing units receiving at least one. Filings in the state are up 23% from the previous six months and increased 61% from the first half of 2008. Arizona had the second highest rate, with 3.37% of homes receiving at least one filing, followed closely by Florida, which had a rate of 3.08%. The states rounding out the top 10 are: California (2.94%), Utah (1.46%), Georgia (1.42%), Michigan (1.34%), Illinois (1.31%), Idaho (1.26%) and Colorado (1.25%). RealtyTrac’s report is based on data from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, representing more than 90% of the US population. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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