ATTOM’s Midyear 2021 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report shows there were a total of 65,082 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in the first six months of 2021, which is down 61 percent from the same time period a year ago and down 78 percent from the same time period two years ago.
“The government’s foreclosure moratorium and mortgage forbearance program have created an unprecedented situation – historically high numbers of seriously delinquent loans and historically low levels of foreclosure activity,” says Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company.
“With the moratorium scheduled to end on July 31, and half of the remaining borrowers in forbearance scheduled to exit that program over the next six months, we should start to get a more accurate read on the level of financial distress the pandemic has caused for homeowners across the country,” he adds.
Nationwide, 0.05 percent of all housing units (one in every 2,112) had a foreclosure filing in the first half of 2021. States with the highest foreclosure rates were Delaware (0.10 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing); Illinois (0.09 percent); Florida (0.08 percent); Ohio (0.08 percent); and Indiana (0.08 percent)
Other states with first-half foreclosure rates among the 10 highest nationwide were New Jersey (0.07 percent); Nevada (0.07 percent); South Carolina (0.07 percent); Louisiana (0.06 percent); and New Mexico (0.06 percent).
Among 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in the first half of 2021 were Lake Havasu, Arizona (0.25 percent of housing units with foreclosure filings); Cleveland, Ohio (0.15 percent); Macon, Georgia (0.13 percent); Peoria, Illinois (0.12 percent); and Florence, South Carolina (0.12 percent).
Other metro areas with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 highest in the first half of 2021 were McAllen, Texas (0.12 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing); Atlantic City, New Jersey (0.11 percent); Davenport, Iowa (0.11 percent); Shreveport, Louisiana (0.11 percent); and South Bend, Indiana (0.11 percent).
A total of 36,742 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in the first six months of 2021, down 63 percent from the first half of last year but up 14 percent from the last half of 2020.
States that saw the greatest decline in foreclosure starts from the same time last year included Maryland (down 95 percent); Oklahoma (down 87 percent); Pennsylvania (down 81 percent); Idaho (down 78 percent); and New Mexico (down 76 percent).
Lenders foreclosed (REO) on a total of 9,730 U.S. properties in the first six months of 2021, down 74 percent from a year ago to the lowest six-month total since we began tracking in 2005.
“Fewer bank repossessions may be a trend we continue to see even after the government’s programs protecting borrowers from foreclosure expire,” Sharga notes. “Rising home prices have provided most homeowners with enough equity to sell their homes at a profit, rather than lose them to a foreclosure or repossession.”
States that posted more than 100 REOs in the first half of 2021 and had the greatest year-over-year decreases in REOs included Michigan (down 90 percent); New York (down 86 percent); New Jersey (down 84 percent); Connecticut (down 83 percent); and Pennsylvania (down 81 percent).
The only state that posted a year-over-year increase in REOs in the first half of 2021 was South Dakota, with a total of 17 REOs, up 21 percent.
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