Foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 109,824 U.S. properties in May – a 5% decrease compared to April and a 26% decrease compared to May 2013, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Forecolsure Market Report.
As of May, foreclosure filings had fallen to the lowest monthly level since December 2006.
About one in every 1,199 homes had a foreclosure filing during the month, according to RealtyTrac.
Despite the decrease in overall foreclosure activity, 21 states posted monthly and 11 states posted annual increases in foreclosure filings.
States that saw the largest year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity in May included Massachusetts (up 58%), New Jersey (up 37%), New York (up 18%) and Indiana (up 12%).
Metropolitan areas that saw the largest year-over-year increases in foreclosure filings included Boston-Cambridge-Quincy (up 44%), New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (up 23%), Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (up 8%) and Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (up 5%).
"It's not surprising that some of the states with the longest foreclosure timelines are those with markets still dealing with increasing foreclosure activity even as the country as a whole continues to hit new lows," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a statement. "On the other hand, the increase in bank repossessions in some states with shorter foreclosure timelines, like California and Oregon, demonstrates there is still some pent-up foreclosure activity in those states as well."
Bank repossessions fell overall in May. According to the report, lenders repossessed 28,373 U.S. properties, down 6% from the previous month and down 27% from May 2013 to reach the lowest monthly level since July 2007.
However, bank repossessions were up in 25 states and were up from a year ago in 14 states. Of course, the number of repossessions in these states is not necessarily indicative of a particular trend in housing – it's more likely due to a larger number of foreclosures being completed by servicers and, in the case of the judicial states, the courts, which in turn leads to a rise in repossessions in any given month.
States that saw the biggest increases in bank repossessions included New York (up 117%), New Jersey (up 96%), Connecticut (up 85%), Maryland (up 40%), Oregon (up 29%), California (up 26%) and Illinois (up 20%).
Foreclosure auctions fell to the lowest level since December 2006 – but were up in 16 states. Foreclosure auctions were scheduled for 47,085 properties in May, down 4% from the previous month and down 22% from a year ago to reach the lowest level since December 2006.
Foreclosure starts fell to the lowest level since December 2005 – but were up in 12 states.
The public foreclosure process was started on 49,240 properties in May, down 10% from the previous month and down 32% from a year ago to reach the lowest level since December 2005.
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