RealtyTrac® (realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for the third quarter of 2010, which shows that foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 930,437 properties in the third quarter, a nearly 4 per cent increase from the previous quarter but a 1 per cent decrease from the third quarter of 2009. One in every 139 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 347,420 U.S. properties in September, an increase of nearly 3 per cent from the previous month and an increase of 1 per cent from September 2009. A record total of 102,134 bank repossessions were reported in September, the first time bank repossessions have surpassed the 100,000 mark in a single month.
“Lenders foreclosed on a record number of properties in September and in the third quarter, taking a bite out of the backlog of distressed properties where the foreclosure process was delayed by foreclosure prevention efforts over the past 20 months,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “We expect to see a dip in those bank repossessions — and possibly earlier stages of the foreclosure process — in the fourth quarter as several major lenders have halted foreclosure sales in some states while they review irregularities in foreclosure-processing documentation that has been called into question in recent weeks.”
Impact of lender foreclosure halts
Foreclosure activity in the 24 judicial foreclosure states most affected by the foreclosure documentation issue accounted for 40 per cent of all foreclosure activity in the third quarter and 36 per cent of bank repossessions, or REOs.
“If the lenders can resolve the documentation issue quickly, then we would expect the temporary lull in foreclosure activity to be followed by a parallel spike in activity as many of the delayed foreclosures move forward in the foreclosure process,” Saccacio said. “However, if the documentation issue cannot be quickly resolved and expands to more lenders we could see a chilling effect on the overall housing market as sales of pre-foreclosure and foreclosed properties, which account for nearly one-third of all sales, dry up and the shadow inventory of distressed properties grows — causing more uncertainty about home prices.”
Preliminary RealtyTrac foreclosure sales numbers for September show that overall foreclosure sales — including pre-foreclosure sales and REO sales — accounted for 31 per cent of all sales during the month. REO sales alone accounted for 18 per cent of all sales. Foreclosure sales in the 24 states most affected by the foreclosure documentation issue accounted for 32 per cent of all foreclosure sales nationwide, based on the preliminary September data.
Foreclosure Activity by Type
During the quarter a total of 269,647 properties received default notices (Notices of Default or Lis Pendens), a decrease of 1 per cent from the previous quarter and a decrease of 21 per cent from the third quarter of 2009, when default notices peaked at more than 342,000.
Foreclosure auctions were scheduled for the first time on a total of 372,445 properties during the quarter, the highest quarterly total for scheduled auctions in the history of the report. Scheduled auctions increased 5 per cent from the previous quarter and were up 4 per cent from the third quarter of 2009.
Bank repossessions (REOs) also hit a record high for the report in the third quarter, with a total of 288,345 properties repossessed by the lender during the quarter — an increase of 7 per cent from the previous quarter and an increase of 22 per cent from the third quarter of 2009.
Nevada, Arizona, Florida post top state foreclosure rates in third quarter
As it has for the past 15 quarters, Nevada continued to document the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in the third quarter of 2010 despite a year-over-year decline in foreclosure activity. One in every 29 Nevada housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter, almost five times the national average. Nevada foreclosure activity increased nearly 1 per cent from the previous quarter but was down nearly 20 per cent from the third quarter of 2009.
Arizona posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate for the fifth consecutive quarter, with one in every 55 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, and Florida posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate for the fourth consecutive quarter, with one in every 56 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.
With one in every 70 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the third quarter, California documented the nation’s fourth highest foreclosure rate, followed by Idaho, with one in every 86 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the quarter. A total of 7,424 Idaho housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter, an increase of nearly 20 per cent from the previous quarter and an increase of nearly 14 per cent from the third quarter of 2009.
Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 in the third quarter were Utah, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois and Hawaii.
Five states account for more than 50 per cent of nation’s third quarter total
California alone accounted for 21 per cent of the nation’s total foreclosure activity in the third quarter, with 191,016 properties receiving a foreclosure notice — the nation’s largest foreclosure activity total. California foreclosure activity decreased nearly 1 per cent from the previous quarter and was down nearly 24 per cent from the third quarter of 2009.
Florida foreclosure activity increased 12 per cent from the previous quarter and was flat from a year ago, giving the state the second largest foreclosure activity total, with 157,026 properties receiving a foreclosure filing.
With 49,103 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in the third quarter, Arizona posted the nation’s third largest state foreclosure activity total. Arizona foreclosure activity increased nearly 8 per cent from the previous quarter but was down 2 per cent from the third quarter of 2009.
Illinois posted the nation’s fourth largest foreclosure activity total, with 47,802 properties receiving foreclosure filings, and Michigan posted the nation’s fifth largest foreclosure activity total, with 46,100 properties receiving foreclosure filings. Foreclosure activity in both Illinois and Michigan increased on a quarterly and annual basis in the third quarter.
Other states with foreclosure activity totals among the nation’s 10 highest were Georgia (41,231), Nevada (38,429), Ohio (36,677), Texas (34,187) and Washington (17,670)
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the month and quarter — broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during a month or quarter may have been recorded in previous months or quarters. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 per cent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). For the quarterly report, if more than one foreclosure document is received for a property during the quarter, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. Both the quarterly and monthly reports check if the same type of document was filed against a property previously. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located, the report does not count the property in the current month or quarter.