RealtyTrac reports that national foreclosure activity dropped 3% in July from June and is now down 10% since July 2011. Across the country one in every 686 housing units was in some form of forclosure for a total of 191,925 homes.
“U.S. foreclosure activity continued its uneven descent in July as the overall numbers declined on an annual basis for the 22nd straight month, but properties starting the foreclosure process increased on an annual basis for the third straight month,” said Daren Blomquist, Vice President of RealtyTrac. “Recent foreclosure activity patterns vary significantly from state to state, often hinging on the level of dysfunction that exists in each state’s foreclosure process. In states like Florida, Illinois and New Jersey, where processing and procedural issues slowed foreclosure activity to a crawl last year, foreclosure numbers continue to rebound off those artificially low levels. But in states like Texas, Arizona and Virginia, where the average time to foreclose is well below the national average of 378 days, foreclosure activity continues on a long-term downward trend.
“Recent legislation and court rulings could lengthen the foreclosure process in some of the states with the shorter timelines, however, resulting in a temporary foreclosure lull and subsequent rebound in those states as well,” Blomquist continued. “Case in point is a new Oregon law that took effect in July and gives homeowners in default — or at risk of default — the right to request mediation to avoid foreclosure. Oregon foreclosure activity dropped 42 percent from June to July, hitting a five-year low, but we would expect the Oregon numbers to trend back higher sometime in the next several months based on the pattern we’ve seen in other states with similar legislation.”
High-level findings from the report:
Overall foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis for the 22nd consecutive month in July, dropping to its lowest level since April.
The decline in overall foreclosure activity was driven primarily by a 21 percent year-over-year decrease in bank repossessions, or REOs.
Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia posted annual decreases in REO activity, but there were some notable exceptions where REO activity increased annually, including Florida (38 percent), Ohio (25 percent), Illinois (22 percent), and New Jersey (21 percent) — all judicial foreclosure states where foreclosures are processed through the court system.
Bank repossessions decrease annually for 21st straight month
Lenders completed the foreclosure process on 53,654 U.S. properties in July, a 1 percent decrease from the previous month and a 21 percent decrease from July 2011 — the 21st consecutive month with a year-over-year decline in bank repossessions (REOs).
REO activity decreased annually in 38 states and the District of Columbia. Some of the biggest REO decreases were in Nevada (71 percent), Virginia (65 percent), California (44 percent), Georgia (39 percent), and Washington (35 percent) — all non-judicial foreclosure states.
California, Arizona, Florida post highest state foreclosure rates
California posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in July despite an 11 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month and a 25 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from July 2011. One in every 325 California housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month, more than twice the national average.
Arizona foreclosure activity was also down on a monthly and annual basis, but the state still posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate: one in every 346 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.
Florida’s foreclosure rate ranked third highest among the states in July, up from sixth highest in June thanks in part to a 14 percent month-over-month increase in foreclosure activity. A total of 25,534 Florida properties had a foreclosure filing in July, a rate of one in every 352 housing units and an increase of 14 percent from July 2011.