Realty Trac reported second quarter and first half foreclosure activity today. Although overall foreclosure activity was down in the second quarter, driven primarily by a drop in bank repossessions (REOs), the number of properties starting foreclosure during the second quarter, 311,010 nationally, was up 9% from the previous quarter and 6% from the second quarter of 2011 — the first year-over-year increase in quarterly foreclosure starts since the fourth quarter of 2009. A total of 31 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in the second quarter — 17 judicial foreclosure states and 14 non-judicial foreclosure states.
First-half foreclosure activity did increase from a year ago in 20 states, including Indiana (32%), Pennsylvania (24%), South Carolina (23%), Connecticut (23%), Florida (23%), and Illinois (22%). An 18 % year-over-year increase in California foreclosure starts in June helped boost that state’s foreclosure rate to highest nationwide for the month. It was the first month California’s foreclosure rate ranked No. 1 since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.
Overall foreclosure activity — as opposed to properties where activity was initiated — in June decreased on a year-over-year basis for the 21st consecutive month, but foreclosure starts for the month increased annually for the second consecutive month.
U.S. properties foreclosed in the second quarter were in the foreclosure process an average of 378 days from the initial foreclosure notice to the completed foreclosure, up from 370 days in the first quarter and a record high going back to the first quarter of 2007. Although the average time to foreclose increased nationwide, it was down in some of the states with the longest foreclosure timelines. The average time to foreclose in New York decreased from 1,056 days in the first quarter to 1,001 days in the second quarter, a 5% drop — although the state still maintained the longest time to foreclose nationwide. The average time to foreclose decreased 3% in New Jersey, the state with the second longest foreclosure process, and was down 1% in Pennsylvania, the state with the seventh longest time to foreclose.
Bank-owned (REO) properties that sold in the second quarter took an average of 195 days to sell from the time they were foreclosed, up from 178 days in the first quarter. REO properties took the longest to sell in New York, at 430 days, followed by Arkansas at 357 days and New Jersey at 354 days. U.S. properties in the foreclosure process that sold in the second quarter (typically short sales) took an average of 319 days to sell from the time they entered the foreclosure process, up from 306 days in the first quarter. Pre-foreclosure sales took the longest in New York, at 788 days on average, followed by New Jersey at 753 days and Connecticut at 630 days.