Foreclosure Activity Fell Below Pre-Recession Levels In Q1

Foreclosure activity in the first quarter fell to the lowest level in 11 years, and the trend is expected to continue into the second quarter, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

The firm’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report shows that foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 234,508 U.S. properties in the first quarter, which is down 11% from the fourth quarter and down 19% from the first quarter of 2016 to reach the lowest level since the third quarter of 2006.

“U.S. foreclosure activity on a quarterly basis first dipped below pre-recession averages in the fourth quarter of last year, and this report shows that trend continuing,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions, in a statement. “The number of local markets dropping below pre-recession levels continues to grow – up from 78 a year ago to 102 in this report.”

Metropolitan areas that were below their pre-recession levels for foreclosure activity in the first quarter included Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston. Other major markets below pre-recession averages included San Francisco; Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.; Phoenix; Detroit; and Seattle.

However, the report shows that certain markets are improving much faster than others. Of the 216 metro markets tracked, 114, or 53%, were still above their pre-recession averages for foreclosure activity.

Looking just at March, there were about 36,370 foreclosure starts – up 6% compared with February but still down 24% compared with March 2016.

March marked the second consecutive month that foreclosure starts increased.

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