About 317,171 properties were in some stage of foreclosure during the third quarter, up 0.42% compared to the second quarter but down 16% compared to the third quarter of 2013, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.
It was the first quarterly increase in foreclosure filings since the third quarter of 2011.
The increase was driven by a 2% increase in default notices and a 7% quarterly increase in scheduled foreclosure auctions. Meanwhile bank repossessions decreased 12% from the previous quarter, according to the company.
Looking just at September, about 106,866 properties were in some stage of foreclosure – down 9% from August and down 19% from September 2013.
September saw the lowest volume of foreclosures since July 2006 – a 98-month low – according to RealtyTrac. It was also the 48th consecutive month where foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis.
‘September foreclosure activity was back to pre-housing bubble levels nationwide, in large part thanks to a continued slide in bank repossessions,’ says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a release. ‘However, a recent rise in scheduled foreclosure auctions in many markets across the country shows lenders are continuing to clean house of lingering delinquent loans. This rise in scheduled auctions foreshadows a corresponding rise in bank repossessions and auction sales to third party buyers in the coming months.’
Default notices were filed on 103,179 properties in the third quarter, an increase of 2% compared to the third quarter but still down 11% from the third quarter of 2013. It was the ninth consecutive quarter where default notices decreased on a year-over-year basis.
Default notices, however, were up significantly in certain states. For example, according to the report, they were up 59% in Indiana, up 49% in Oklahoma, up 38% in Massachusetts, up 19% in New Jersey and up 12% in Iowa.
Foreclosure auctions were scheduled on 139,721 properties in the third quarter, an increase of 7% compared to the second quarter but a decrease of 1% from the third quarter of 2013. It was the 15th consecutive quarter where scheduled foreclosure auctions decreased on a year-over-year basis.
On a year-over-year basis, scheduled foreclosure auctions in the third quarter increased in 22 states. Those that saw the biggest year over year increases included North Carolina (up 85%), Oregon (up 85%), New Jersey (up 66%), Oklahoma (up 58%), New York (up 57%), Connecticut (up 51%), Colorado (up 48%), Alabama (up 24%), Texas (up 18%), and Ohio (up 17%).
On a quarter-over-quarter basis, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased in 32 states, including Michigan (up 34%), Maryland (up 30%), California (up 25%), Texas (up 25%) and Arizona (up 25%).
About 74,271 properties were repossessed in the third quarter, a decrease of 12% from the previous quarter and down 38% from the third quarter of 2013. It was the 16th consecutive quarter where repossessions decreased on a year-over-year basis.
REOs increased from a year ago in the third quarter in seven states, including Maine (up 24%), Maryland (up 19%), Oregon (up 13%), Georgia (up 11%) and New Jersey (up 5%).
States with the highest foreclosure rates in the third quarter were Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, and Illinois.
Cities with highest foreclosure rates in the third quarter were Orlando, Fla.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Macon, Ga.; Ocala, Fla.; and Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.
Although foreclosures are down overall, the amount of time it takes for a property to wend its way through the foreclosure process increased to an average of 615 days in the third quarter, up 7% from the second quarter and up 13% from the third quarter of 2013. It was the longest average time to foreclose since RealtyTrac began tracking in the first quarter of 2007.
States with the longest average time to foreclose in the third quarter were New Jersey (1,064 days), Florida (951 days), Hawaii (937 days), New York (902 days) and Illinois (889 days).