By  Posted on Sun Jan 19, 2014

Foreclosures Drop to 7-Year Low

Foreclosures Drop to 7 Year Low

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The numbers are in and there is good news for the housing market and its recovery following the 2008 collapse: the rate of foreclosures is down to its lowest level in seven years. While the number is down, the news is not entirely good, as the number of bank repossessions, loan defaults notices, and scheduled auctions has come down, but still remains at a staggering 15 percent, as of November 2013. In a report by RealtyTrac, an online company that markets foreclosure properties, a total of 113,454 properties went into foreclosure in that month.

According to the report, the figure is down from a whopping 37 percent in November of the prior year and represents a 95-month low. An additional 52,826 homes began the foreclosure process, which was down 10 percent from October. This figure represents the lowest number since December of 2005. While foreclosures are down, bargain properties can still be found for cash sales, particularly in states with the highest foreclosure rates.

Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president said, ” While some of the decrease in November can be attributed to seasonality, the depth and breadth of the decrease provides strong evidence that we are entering the ninth inning of this foreclosure crisis.”

States with the highest foreclosures

Topping the list of high foreclosure states are Florida, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, and Illinois. While Florida’s foreclosure rate dropped by 15 percent, its numbers still ranked highest in the U.S. with one in every 392 housing units hitting the foreclosure market.

Specifically with bank repossessions, only five states showed increases over the previous year. Delaware’s bank repossessions increased by a substantial 179 percent increase. Its overall foreclosure activity was up by 141 percent from last year, and 56 percent from the prior month.

The other four states which showed an increase in foreclosures over last year are Maryland, which posted a 41 percent increase; Connecticut, which had a 9 percent increase. Maine increased by 6 percent, but Iowa’s bank repossessions only increased by a modest 2 percent. Foreclosure activity in Maryland decreased overall by 16 percent from October 2013, but it was up 42 percent from the prior year. This represented the 17th consecutive month in which the foreclosure activity in Maryland posted an increase over the prior year.

Urban areas

When it came to urban areas, Jacksonville, FL topped the list of foreclosures. In that city, one in every 288 housing units went through the foreclosure process, which, according to the report, is more than four times the national average.

Miami ranked at number two in metro area foreclosures with one in every 307 foreclosed properties. Florida cities also took the Nos. 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, and 10 slots in the top 10 cities nationwide. However, each of the cities showed reduced activity over the previous year.

The two other cities rounding out the top 10 list are Rockford, IL at No. 5 and Charleston, SC. at No. 7. Rockford had one in every 355 housing units in foreclosure proceedings with Charleston close behind with reportedly one in every 395 units in foreclosure.

“While foreclosures will likely continue to stage a weak rally in certain markets next year as the last of the distress left over from the Great Recession is dealt with, it is highly unlikely that there will be a foreclosure comeback that poses any major threat to the solid housing recovery that has now taken hold,” Blomquist stated.

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