RealtyTrac: Foreclosure Filings Dropped 26% In 2013

Foreclosure filings were reported on 1,361,795 U.S. properties in 2013, down 26% from 2012 and down 53% from the peak of 2.9 million properties with foreclosure filings in 2010, according to RealtyTrac's Year-End 2013 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

The 1.4 million total properties with foreclosure filings in 2013 – including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – was the lowest annual total since 2007, when there were 1.3 million properties with foreclosure filings.

The report also shows that 1.04% of U.S. housing units (one in every 96) had at least one foreclosure filing during the year, down from 1.39% of housing units in 2012 and down from a peak of 2.23% of housing units in 2010.

States with the highest foreclosure rates in 2013 were Florida (3.01% of all housing units with a foreclosure filing), Nevada (2.16%), Illinois (1.89%), Maryland (1.57%) and Ohio (1.53%).

States that saw the biggest increases in foreclosure activity in 2013 compared to 2012 include Maryland (up 117%), New Jersey (up 44%), New York (up 34%), Connecticut (up 20%), Washington (up 13%) and Pennsylvania (up 13%).

The average time to complete a foreclosure increased 3% in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter to reach a record-high 564 days. States with the longest time to foreclose were New York (1,029 days), New Jersey (999 days) and Florida (944 days). All three are judicial states.

During the past eight years, 10.9 million U.S. properties have started the foreclosure process, and 5.6 million have been repossessed through foreclosure.

‘Millions of homeowners are still living in the shadow of the massive foreclosure crisis that the country experienced over the past eight years since the housing price bubble burst – both in the form of homes lost directly to foreclosure, as well as home equity lost as a result of a flood of discounted distressed sales,’ says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in the report. ‘But the shadow cast by the foreclosure crisis is shrinking as fewer distressed properties enter foreclosure and properties already in foreclosure are poised to exit in greater numbers in 2014, given the greater numbers of scheduled foreclosure auctions in 2013 in judicial states – which account for the bulk of U.S. foreclosure inventory.

‘The push to schedule these auctions is certainly coming at an opportune time for the foreclosing lenders,’ Blomquist adds. ‘There is unprecedented demand from institutional investors willing to pay with cash to buy at the foreclosure auction, helping to raise the value of properties with a foreclosure filing in 2013 by an average of 10 percent nationwide.’

To view a copy of the full report, click here.


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