ATTOM: Foreclosure Starts Fell in May But Hot Spots of Activity Remain

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A total of 33,623 U.S. residential properties started the foreclosure process in May, down 1% compared with April and down 6% compared with May 2017, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

May marked the 35th consecutive month that foreclosure starts decreased on a year-over-year basis.

However, 43% of local markets posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts, counter to the national trend, the firm’s research shows.

Markets where foreclosure starts increased the most year-over-year in May were Houston (up 153%); Los Angeles (up 14%); Miami (up 4%); Dallas-Fort Worth (up 46%); and Atlanta (up 7%).

Also counter to the national trend, 23 states and the District of Columbia posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts, including Texas (up 53%), California (up 3%), Georgia (up 15%); Pennsylvania (up 6%); and South Carolina (up 31%).

There were 71,949 residential properties with foreclosure filings (including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions) in May, an increase of 12% compared with April but still down 12% from a year earlier.

It was the 32nd consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure filings.

May saw a foreclosure rate of one in every 1,863 U.S. housing units.

States with the highest foreclosure rates in May included New Jersey (one in every 643 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Delaware (one in every 874); Maryland (one in every 999), Illinois (one in every 1,180), and Connecticut (one in every 1,236).

Cities with the highest foreclosure rates in May were Flint, Mich. (one in every 135 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Atlantic City, N.J. (one in every 399); Trenton, N.J. (one in every 519); Philadelphia, Pa. (one in every 805); and Columbia, S.C. (one in every 889).

Lenders repossessed (REO) 21,312 U.S. properties in May, up 50% from the previous month but still down 21% from a year earlier.

It was the 16th consecutive month that repossessions decreased on a year-over-year basis.

Counter to the national trend, 12 states and the District of Columbia posted year-over-year increases in REOs in May, including Michigan (up 155%); Maryland (up 22%); Alabama (up 10%); Connecticut (up 11%); and Oklahoma (up 26%).

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