Update: A few more details from the RealtyTrac announcement: While repossessions dropped significantly (perhaps due to loan mod efforts), default notices and auctions both hit fresh records.
On the other hand, foreclosures en masse, still remains concentrated. 6 states still account for 62% of foreclosure activity, which calls into question the idea that the improvement we’re seeing in Case-Shiller data is all the result of foreclosure-related distortions. There are too many markets where foreclosures aren’t a huge deal.
Original post: We’ll have to dig further into these numbers and wait for some of the commentary from the likes of Mark Hanson to roll in, but at first blush, it looks like August was not a total disaster for foreclosures.
Total foreclosure activity actually dipped 1% in August (from July), though that’s 18% higher than it was a year ago.
The number includes activity at all stages of the foreclosure process.
By ADRIAN SAINZ, AP Real Estate Writer
MIAMI (AP) — The number of U.S. households threatened with losing their homes held steady last month, a sign that lenders’ efforts to help distressed borrowers may be having a gradual impact.
But one month does not make a trend.
More than 358,000 foreclosure-related filings were recorded in August, meaning one in 357 U.S. homes received a filing, RealtyTrac Inc. reported Thursday. That number, up 18 per cent from a year ago, includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.
Mortgage companies are ramping up efforts to help troubled borrowers modify their loan payments to make them more affordable, data Wednesday showed. And RealtyTrac said bank repossessions dropped 13 per cent from July.
The problem is the economy. The unemployment rate continues to rise, despite a new Federal Reserve survey that suggested the recession is over.
More than 138,000 households received a default notice in August. Another 144,113 received a notice scheduling the house for public auction.
“The August report demonstrates that there is still an ample supply of properties filling the foreclosure pipeline,” said James Saccacio, CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.
Despite an 8 per cent monthly decline in foreclosure activity in August, Nevada had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the 32nd-straight month. Nearly 18,000 Nevada properties received a foreclosure filing, down 8 per cent from July but an increase of more than half from August last year.
Florida, California, Arizona, Michigan, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Georgia and Illinois completed the top 10 states for foreclosure filings.
Among cities with at least 200,000 people, Las Vegas had the highest foreclosure rate, followed by the California cities of Stockton, Merced, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Vallejo-Fairfield and Modesto.