SOURCE: RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac

January 16, 2014 00:01 ET

1.4 Million U.S. Properties With Foreclosure Filings in 2013 Down 26 Percent to Lowest Annual Total Since 2007

Overall Foreclosure Activity Increased in 10 States Including MD, NJ, NY, CT, WA, PA; Scheduled Foreclosure Auctions in Judicial States up to Highest Level Since 2010

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - Jan 16, 2014) - RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its Year-End 2013 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, which shows foreclosure filings -- default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- were reported on 1,361,795 U.S. properties in 2013, down 26 percent from 2012 and down 53 percent from the peak of 2.9 million properties with foreclosure filings in 2010. The 1.4 million total properties with foreclosure filings in 2013 was the lowest annual total since 2007, when there were 1.3 million properties with foreclosure filings.

The report also shows that 1.04 percent of U.S. housing units (one in every 96) had at least one foreclosure filing during the year, down from 1.39 percent of housing units in 2012 and down from a peak of 2.23 percent of housing units in 2010.

Other high-level findings from the report:

  • States with the highest foreclosure rates in 2013 were Florida (3.01 percent of all housing units with a foreclosure filing), Nevada (2.16 percent), Illinois (1.89 percent), Maryland (1.57 percent), and Ohio (1.53 percent).

  • Total foreclosure activity in 2013 increased in 10 states in 2013 compared to 2012, including Maryland (up 117 percent), New Jersey (up 44 percent), New York (up 34 percent), Connecticut (up 20 percent), Washington (up 13 percent), and Pennsylvania (up 13 percent).

  • Scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions (NFS) increased 13 percent in 2013 compared to 2012 to the highest level since 2010. NFS were the only foreclosure document type among the five tracked by RealtyTrac to post an increase nationwide in 2013 compared to 2012.

  • States with big increases in scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions included Maryland (up 107 percent), New Jersey (64 percent), Connecticut (up 55 percent), Florida (up 53 percent), Pennsylvania (up 24 percent), and New York (up 15 percent).

  • The average estimated value of a property receiving a foreclosure filing in 2013 was $191,693 at the time of the foreclosure filing, up 1 percent from the average value in 2012, and the average estimated market value of properties that received foreclosure filings in 2013 has increased 10 percent since the foreclosure notice was filed.

  • The average time to complete a foreclosure nationwide in the fourth quarter increased 3 percent from the previous quarter to a record-high 564 days. States with the longest time to foreclose were New York (1,029 days), New Jersey (999 days) and Florida (944 days).

  • Including the 2013 numbers, over the past eight years 10.9 million U.S. properties have started the foreclosure process and 5.6 million have been repossessed by lenders through foreclosure.

"Millions of homeowners are still living in the shadow of the massive foreclosure crisis that the country experienced over the past eight years since the housing price bubble burst -- both in the form of homes lost to directly to foreclosure as well as home equity lost as a result of a flood of discounted distressed sales," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "But the shadow cast by the foreclosure crisis is shrinking as fewer distressed properties enter foreclosure and properties already in foreclosure are poised to exit in greater numbers in 2014 given the greater numbers of scheduled foreclosure auctions in 2013 in judicial states -- which account for the bulk of U.S. foreclosure inventory.

"The push to schedule these auctions is certainly coming at an opportune time for the foreclosing lenders," Blomquist added. "There is unprecedented demand from institutional investors willing to pay with cash to buy at the foreclosure auction, helping to raise the value of properties with a foreclosure filing in 2013 by an average of 10 percent nationwide."

Local broker quotes
"Since the Ohio housing market is still experiencing low inventory availability, we have noticed that foreclosure properties are being bought much faster than usual," said Michael Mahon, Executive Vice President/Broker at HER Realtors, covering the Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus markets. "The number of days foreclosure inventory spends on the market is at an all-time low, so when these foreclosed properties are released into the market we are seeing multiple offer situations that often drive the price up over the original asking price."

"We continue to experience a decline in foreclosures in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa markets," said Sheldon Detrick, CEO of Prudential Detrick/Alliance Realty covering the Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK markets. "Year-end foreclosure activity is down compared to 2012, and we are looking forward to home equity appreciation and a strong, spring market."

2013 starts down in 37 states, 25 states post monthly increase in December
A total of 747,728 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in 2013, down 33 percent from 2012 to the lowest annual total since RealtyTrac began reporting on foreclosure starts in 2006, but 13 states bucked the downward trend, including Maryland (up 194 percent from 2012), Arkansas (up 64 percent from 2012), New Jersey (up 54 percent from 2012), Connecticut (up 47 percent from 2012), New York (up 42 percent from 2012), and Nevada (up 21 percent from 2012).

Foreclosure starts decreased in 2013 compared to 2012 in 37 states. States with the significant decreases in foreclosure starts included California (down 60 percent from 2012), Arizona (down 59 percent from 2012), Colorado (down 58 percent from 2012), Georgia (down 47 percent from 2012) and Michigan (down 42 percent from 2012) -- all non-judicial states.

Foreclosure starts in some non-judicial states turned the corner and headed lower in 2013: Florida (down 31 percent from 2012), Illinois (down 41 percent from 2012), Ohio (down 28 percent from 2012), and South Carolina (down 24 percent from 2012).

U.S. foreclosure starts in December decreased 1 percent from the previous month and were down 28 percent from a year ago, but 25 states posted a month-over-month increase in foreclosure starts during the month, including some non-judicial states: Oregon (52 percent increase), California (19 percent increase), Arizona (13 percent increase), Georgia (10 percent increase), and Virginia (9 percent increase).

Bank repossessions decrease in 39 states in 2013 despite increase in December
A total of 462,970 U.S. properties were repossessed by lenders (REO) in 2013, down 31 percent from 2012 to the lowest level since 2007, but 12 states bucked the downward trend, including Maryland (up 57 percent), Arkansas (43 percent), Washington (up 30 percent), New York (up 28 percent), Oklahoma (up 26 percent), and Connecticut (up 15 percent).

Bank repossessions (REO) decreased in 2013 compared to 2012 in 38 states. States with the significant decreases included California (down 60 percent), Texas (down 56 percent), Arizona (down 52 percent), Georgia (down 50 percent), Michigan (down 47 percent), and Illinois (down 33 percent).

U.S. REO activity in December increased 4 percent from the previous month but was still down 40 percent from a year ago -- the 13th consecutive month where U.S. REOs have decreased annually. REO activity in December decreased from a year ago in 41 states, but 25 states posted an increase in REO activity from the previous month, including Texas (57 percent increase), Arizona (39 percent increase), Virginia (37 percent increase), Nevada (30 percent increase), and Michigan (27 percent increase).

Florida, Nevada, Illinois post top state foreclosure rates
More than 3 percent of Florida housing units (3.01 percent, or one in 33) had at least one foreclosure filing in 2013, the nation's highest state foreclosure rate for the year. A total of 269,649 Florida properties had a foreclosure filing during the year, a 3 percent decrease from 2012 but still up 48 percent from 2011. Florida foreclosure activity in 2013 was down 48 percent from the peak of 516,711 Florida properties with foreclosure filings in 2009.

With 2.16 percent of housing units (one in 46) with a foreclosure filing in 2013, Nevada posted the nation's second highest state foreclosure rate for the year despite a 21 percent decrease in foreclosure activity compared to 2012. A total of 25,058 Nevada housing units had a foreclosure filing during the year, down 78 percent from a peak of 112,097 properties with foreclosure filings in 2009.

A total of 99,666 Illinois properties had at least one foreclosure filing in 2013, down 27 percent from 2012 but still enough to give the state the nation's third highest foreclosure rate: 1.89 percent of housing units (one in 53) with a foreclosure filing.

Maryland foreclosure activity in 2013 increased 117 percent from 2012 -- one of only 10 states where total foreclosure activity increased from 2012 to 2013 -- boosting the state's foreclosure rate to fourth highest for the year. A total of 37,186 Maryland properties had a foreclosure filing in 2013, 1.57 percent of all housing units (one in every 64). Maryland foreclosure activity in 2013 was still down 14 percent from the peak of 43,248 properties with foreclosure filings in 2009.

Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation's 10 highest in 2013 were Ohio (1.53 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing), Georgia (1.40 percent), Connecticut (1.36 percent), South Carolina (1.36 percent), Arizona (1.25 percent), and Delaware (1.23 percent).

Foreclosure inventory down 22 percent from 2012, down 44 percent from peak
In December 2013, more than 1.2 million properties nationwide were in some stage of foreclosure or bank owned, down 19 percent from December 2012 and 44 percent below the peak of more than 2.2 million in December 2010.

Florida accounted for the biggest share of U.S. foreclosure inventory, with 306,018 properties in some stage of foreclosure or bank owned -- 25 percent of the national total. Florida foreclosure inventory was virtually unchanged from a year ago, although down 18 percent from the peak of 371,216 in November 2010.

Other states with the 10 largest foreclosure inventories were California with 102,237 (8 percent of the national total), Illinois with 98,188 (8 percent), New York with 79,682 (7 percent), Ohio with 70,072 (6 percent), New Jersey with 52,511 (4 percent), Georgia with 47,765 (4 percent), Michigan with 40,648 (3 percent), Pennsylvania with 36,674 (3 percent), and Arizona with 35,817 (3 percent).

The average age of properties in foreclosure or bank-owned as of December 2013 was 45 years old nationwide, with the oldest average age in Massachusetts (73 years old), Rhode Island (71 years old), Pennsylvania (70 years old), Connecticut (70 years old), and New York (69 years old), and the youngest average age in Nevada (23 years old), Arizona (26 years old), New Mexico (28 years old), Texas (28 years old), South Carolina (29 years old) and Georgia (29 years old).

Among properties actively in the foreclosure process but not yet bank owned, 53 percent had been owned by the current owner between five and 10 years, while 19 percent had been owned between 10 and 15 years, 16 percent had been owned more than 15 years, and 12 percent had been owned five years or fewer.

Lenders with the most inventory of bank-owned (REO) properties -- based on the name of the beneficiary listed on the foreclosure documents -- were the government-backed entities of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), with a combined 41 percent of all REO inventory. Other top beneficiaries were Bank of America (11 percent of all active REO inventory), Wells Fargo (11 percent of all REO inventory), Chase (8 percent), US BankCorp (7 percent), Deutsche Bank (5 percent), and CitiGroup (4 percent).

Average days to foreclose nationwide at record-high 564 days in fourth quarter
Properties that completed the foreclosure process in the fourth quarter of 2013 took an average of 564 days to complete the foreclosure process nationwide, up from 547 days in the third quarter and the highest average time to foreclose since RealtyTrac began tracking this metric in the first quarter of 2007.

States with the longest average time to foreclose were New York (1,029 days), New Jersey (999 days), Florida (944 days), Hawaii (835 days), Illinois (815 days), New Mexico (697 days), and Connecticut (666 days).

States with the shortest average time to foreclose were Texas (175 days), Delaware (176 days), Virginia (198 days), New Hampshire (224 days), and Alabama (227 days).

Top metro foreclosure rates
A 6 percent annual increase in total foreclosure activity helped push the foreclosure rate in Miami to highest among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more in 2013. A total of 96,710 properties had foreclosure filings in the three-county metro area during the year, 3.93 percent of housing units (one in every 25). Miami foreclosure activity in 2013 was up 44 percent from 2011 but still 44 percent from the peak of 172,894 properties with foreclosure filings in 2009.

Seven other Florida metro areas posted 2013 foreclosure rates among the 10 highest in the country: Jacksonville at No. 2 (3.32 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing); Orlando at No. 3 (3.20 percent); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville at No. 4 (3.16 percent); Port St. Lucie at No. 5 (3.06 percent); Tampa at No. 6 (3.06 percent); Ocala at No. 7 (2.96 percent); and Sarasota at No. 10 (2.42 percent).

The two other metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 10 were Rockford, Ill., at No. 8 (2.59 percent of housing units with foreclosure filings); and Las Vegas at no. 9 (2.45 percent). Other metros with foreclosure rates in the top 20 included Chicago at No. 11 (2.40 percent); and Cleveland at No. 20 (1.81 percent).

Of the 209 metro areas tracked in the report, 51 bucked the national trend and posted increasing foreclosure activity in 2013 compared to 2012. Among these 51 were Baltimore, Md., (149 percent increase), New York (33 percent increase), Philadelphia (19 percent increase), and Washington, D.C. (14 percent increase).

Report methodology
The RealtyTrac Year-End 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 year. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the year may have been recorded in the previous year. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent 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 annual and quarterly reports, if more than one type of foreclosure document is received for a property during the year or quarter, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The annual, quarterly and monthly reports all 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 year, quarter or month.

Report License
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About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is the nation's leading source of comprehensive housing data, with more than 1.5 million active default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties, and more than 1 million active for-sale listings on its website, which also provides essential housing information for more than 100 million homes nationwide. This information includes property characteristics, tax assessor records, bankruptcy status and sales history, along with 20 categories of key housing-related facts provided by RealtyTrac's wholly-owned subsidiary, Homefacts®. RealtyTrac's foreclosure reports and other housing data are relied on by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.