US foreclosure rates down but still almost 20% higher than a year ago, report shows
Property foreclosure filings are decreasing in the US but the number of owners getting into difficulty is still up 18% on the same time last year, according to the latest published figures.
Overall default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions fell nearly 8% in November and are down 15% from their peak in July, the data from RealtyTrac shows. Levels of foreclosure activity have now fallen for four months in a row and are at the lowest level since February.
Loan modifications and other foreclosure prevention efforts, along with the recently extended and expanded homebuyer tax credit, are keeping a lid on the most visible symptoms of the nation's ailing housing market, said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
‘This is providing a welcome respite for the real estate industry but a full recovery will only come when unemployment recedes to normal, healthy levels and when availability of credit reaches a more rational balance between the extremes of the past few years,’ he added.
Default notices nationwide were down 8 % from the previous month but still up 22% from November 2008, while scheduled foreclosure auctions were down 12% but up 32% from the same time last year. Bank repossessions were flat from the previous month and down 2% from November 2008.
Nevada foreclosure activity decreased by a double-digit percentage for the second straight month but the state continued to document the nation's top foreclosure rate with one in every 119 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in November, some 3.5 times the national average.
Florida posted the nation's second highest state foreclosure rate in November with one in every 165 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Florida took the number two spot from California, which posted the nation's third highest foreclosure rate with one in every 180 housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.
After three straight months of decreases Arizona’s foreclosure activity increased nearly 8% in November and the state documented the nation's fourth highest foreclosure rate with one in every 186 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.
Despite a nearly 2% decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month, Idaho posted the fifth highest state foreclosure rate in November with one in every 259 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.
Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation's 10 highest were Michigan, Illinois, Utah, Maryland and New Jersey. For the second month in a row, the same four states accounted for 52% of the nation's total foreclosure activity: California, Florida, Illinois and Michigan.