RealtyTrac®, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for September and the third quarter of 2012, showing foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 180,427 U.S. properties in September, a decrease of 7 percent from the previous month and down 16 percent from September 2011. September’s total was the lowest U.S. total since July 2007.
The decrease in September helped drop the third quarter foreclosure numbers to the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2007. Foreclosure filings were reported on 531,576 U.S. properties during the quarter, a decrease of 5 percent from the second quarter and a decrease of 13 percent from the third quarter of 2011 — the ninth consecutive quarter with an annual decrease in foreclosure activity. The report also shows one in every 248 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the quarter.
“We’ve been waiting for the other foreclosure shoe to drop since late 2010, when questionable foreclosure practices slowed activity to a crawl in many areas, but that other shoe is instead being carefully lowered to the floor and therefore making little noise in the housing market — at least at a national level,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Make no mistake, however, the other shoe is dropping quite loudly in certain states, primarily those where foreclosure activity was held back the most last year. Meanwhile, several states where the foreclosure flow was not so dammed up last year could see a roller-coaster pattern in foreclosure activity going forward because of recent legislation or court rulings that substantively change the rules to properly foreclose,” Blomquist added. “A backlog of delayed foreclosures will likely build up in those states as lenders adjust to the new rules, with many of those delayed foreclosures eventually hitting down the road.”
Other key findings from the report
- The national decrease in September and the third quarter was driven mostly by sizable decreases in the non-judicial foreclosure states such as California, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and Michigan.
- Several judicial foreclosure states — including Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey and New York — continued to buck the national trend, registering substantial year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity in September and the third quarter.
- U.S. foreclosure starts in the third quarter decreased both from the previous quarter and a year ago, reversing a bump in foreclosure starts in the second quarter.
- California foreclosure starts in September decreased 18 percent from the previous month and were down 45 percent from a year ago to a 69-month low, although the state’s foreclosure rate still ranked in the top three for the month and quarter.
- Florida foreclosure starts in September increased 24 percent on a year-over-year basis, the 11th consecutive month with an annual increase, and the state’s foreclosure rate ranked highest nationwide for the first time since April 2005.
Of the 24 states where the non-judicial foreclosure process is primarily utilized, 20 reported annual decreases in foreclosure activity in the third quarter, including Nevada (71 percent decrease), Oregon (63 percent decrease), Utah (60 percent decrease), Virginia (34 percent decrease), California (29 percent decrease), Michigan (28 percent decrease), Arizona (23 percent decrease), Colorado (21 percent decrease), Georgia (20 percent decrease) and Texas (17 percent decrease). Meanwhile, third quarter foreclosure activity increased on a year-over-year basis in 14 out of the 26 states with a primarily judicial foreclosure process, including New Jersey (130 percent increase), New York (53 percent increase), Indiana (36 percent increase), Pennsylvania (35 percent increase), Connecticut (34 percent increase), Illinois (31 percent increase), Maryland (28 percent increase), South Carolina (16 percent increase), North Carolina (14 percent increase), and Florida (14 percent increase).