October Foreclosure Data: The Good & The Bad

According to RealtyTrac's October 2007 ‘U.S. Foreclosure Market Report,’ nearly a quarter-million foreclosure filings – default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions – were reported during the month. While the figure – 224,451 – represents a 94% increase from last October, it is only 2% higher than the previous month's total.

‘Overall foreclosure activity continues to register at a high level compared to last year, but it appears to have leveled off over the past two months after hitting a high for the year in August,’ says James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.

‘Default notices were down nearly nine percent in October, indicating that some of the efforts on the part of homeowners, lenders and advocacy groups to find alternatives to foreclosure may be starting to have an impact,’ he adds. ‘On the other hand, bank repossessions were up nearly 35 percent – evidence that more homeowners who enter foreclosure are losing their homes.’

In its market report for the third quarter, the company indicated that three states – Nevada, California and Florida – had the highest foreclosure rates. That trend, the latest monthly report suggests, has trickled into the fourth quarter.

Nevada documented the highest foreclosure rate among the states for the tenth straight month, with one foreclosure filing for every 154 households – 3.6 times the national average. A total of 6,618 foreclosure filings were reported in the state for the month, representing a 20% increase from the previous month and nearly triple the number reported in October 2006.

California foreclosure activity decreased nearly 2% from the previous month, but the state's foreclosure rate of one foreclosure filing for every 258 households still ranked second highest among the states, RealtyTrac says. A total of 50,401 foreclosure filings were reported in the state for the month, more than triple the number reported a year earlier.

Florida's foreclosure rate – one foreclosure filing for every 273 households – ranked third highest. With 30,190 foreclosure filings reported for the month, the state's foreclosure activity was down more than 9% from the previous month, but still up nearly 165% from October 2006.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation's 10 highest were Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, Colorado, Arizona, Indiana and Illinois, the report notes.

In terms of total foreclosures, Ohio's total of 17,276 was third highest, behind California and Florida. The state's foreclosure activity increased nearly 10% from the previous month and was up 136% from October 2006.

Meanwhile, 13,415 foreclosure filings were reported in October in Michigan. The state's foreclosure activity was down nearly 6% from the previous month, but was up nearly 63% from October 2006. Texas registered 12,288 foreclosure filings in October – a 16% decrease from the previous month, but a 26% increase from a year ago. Rounding out the list of states with the highest foreclosure totals were Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New York and Arizona.

From a metro perspective, California cities continued to dominate the top foreclosure rates in October, taking six out of the top 10 spots for the month, the report says. Merced documented the No. 1 foreclosure rate (one foreclosure filing for every 82 households – 6.7 times the national average), while Stockton and Modesto took the second and third spots, Riverside-San Bernardino and Vallejo-Fairfield took the sixth and seventh spots, and Sacramento ranked ninth.

Las Vegas documented the fourth highest metro foreclosure rate for the month – one foreclosure filing for every 120 households – followed by No. 5 Detroit. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., registered the eighth highest metro foreclosure rate, and Cleveland's foreclosure rate ranked No. 10, RealtyTrac says.


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