Near-Record Foreclosures In May

US foreclosures

RealtyTrac is out with fresh foreclosure data for May, and it shows foreclosures topping 300,000 for the third straight month.

At 321,480, the number is actually down a tad from March and April, but it’s still up 18% from a year ago, and even the sequential downturn may not mean anything, since March and April likely saw big boosts from the pent up foreclosure moratorium over the new year.

And, we may still not be getting a realistic picture of underlying housing economics, says RealtyTrac:

Nationwide REOs [bank repossessions] have been following a consistent downward trend over the past nine months after hitting a peak of more than 90,000 in August 2008. In May, in which there were just over 65,000 REOs, many states continued to follow this downward trend, but that was not the case across the board. Certain states reported sharp monthly REO increases in May, although interestingly many of those states still saw year-over-year decreases in REO activity. RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio believes that more states will report surging REOs in the coming months as the effects of the moratoria and state laws that delayed the foreclosure process fizzle out.

“While defaults and scheduled foreclosure auctions were both down from the previous month, bank repossessions, or REOs, were up 2 per cent thanks largely to substantial increases in several states, including Michigan, Arizona, Washington, Nevada, Oregon and New York. We expect REO activity to spike in the coming months as foreclosure delays and moratoria implemented by various state laws and individual lenders come to an end.”

You can read the full state-by-state data here.

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