Foreclosure Starts Continued to Fall During First Half

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Foreclosure starts continued to decrease nationwide during the first half – but, as is to be expected, certain markets saw “flare-ups” in their annual foreclosure rates.

A total of 177,015 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in the first six months of 2019, down 8% compared with the first half of 2018 and down 84% from the peak of foreclosure starts in 2009, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

States that saw the largest increases in their foreclosure rates in the first half compared with a year earlier included Mississippi (up 56%); Florida (up 28%); Georgia (up 22%); Arkansas (up 21%); and Louisiana (up 19%).

Cities that saw the largest increases included Miami, Fla. (up 32%); Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. (up 18%); Atlanta, Ga. (up 16%); Washington D.C. (up 8%); and Denver, Colo. (up 6%).

ATTOM’s data show that 296,458 U.S. properties had some form of foreclosure filing – including default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions – during the first half, down 18% from the first half of 2018 and down 82% from the peak seen during in the first six months of 2010.

“Our midyear 2019 foreclosure activity helps to show an overall view on how foreclosure activity is trending downward,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions, in a statement. “Of course, you still have pockets across the nation where foreclosure activity is seeing some flare-ups.

“Foreclosure starts is a good indication of markets to watch,” Teta adds. “For instance, in looking at the largest markets across the nation with the greatest annual increase in foreclosure starts, four out of the five were in Florida.”

States with the highest foreclosure rates in the first half of 2019 were New Jersey (0.54%); Delaware (0.46%); Maryland (0.43%); Florida (0.39%); and Illinois (0.38%).

Cities with the highest foreclosure rates for the first half included Columbia, S.C. (0.49%); Ocala, Fla. (0.49%); Philadelphia, Pa. (.48%); Fayetteville, N.C. (0.47%); and Baltimore, Md. (0.44%).

As the number of foreclosures has decreased, so, too, have foreclosure timelines.

Properties foreclosed in the second quarter took an average of 716 days from the first public foreclosure notice to complete the foreclosure process, down from 835 days in the previous quarter and down from 720 days in the second quarter of 2018, ATTOM’s data shows.

States with the longest average foreclosure timelines for foreclosures completed in the second quarter were Hawaii (1,611 days), Indiana (1,360 days), Florida (1,073 days), New York (1,057 days), and New Jersey (982 days).

States with the shortest average foreclosure timelines for foreclosures completed were Mississippi (195 days), Minnesota (226 days), Virginia (228 days), Alaska (242 days) and Maine (277 days).

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