SOURCE: RealtyTrac


August 15, 2013 00:01 ET

U.S. Foreclosure Activity Increases 2 Percent in July Boosted by 6 Percent Increase in Foreclosure Starts

Bank Repossessions Up 4 Percent From Previous Month, 29 States Post Increases; Total U.S. Foreclosure Activity Still Down Annually for 34th Consecutive Month

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 15, 2013) - RealtyTrac® (, the nation's leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for July 2013, which shows foreclosure filings -- default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- were reported on 130,888 U.S. properties in July, an increase of 2 percent from the 78-month low in June but still down 32 percent from July 2012. The report also shows one in every 1,001 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

High-level findings from the report:

  • The monthly increase in U.S. foreclosure activity was driven by a 6 percent monthly increase in foreclosure starts and a 4 percent monthly increase in bank repossessions (REO), although both metrics decreased from a year ago.
  • Foreclosure starts increased from the previous month in 26 states and were up from a year ago in 15 states, including Maryland (up 275 percent), Oregon (up 137 percent), New Jersey (up 89 percent), Connecticut (up 37 percent), and New York (up 27 percent).
  • Bank repossessions increased from the previous month in 29 states and were up from a year ago in 18 states, including Arkansas (up 266 percent), Oklahoma (up 126 percent), Maryland (up 101 percent), New York (up 100 percent), Connecticut (up 67 percent), New Jersey (up 40 percent), and Ohio (up 20 percent).
  • The top six state foreclosure rates in July were in states with a judicial foreclosure process, although two of those top six states posted decreasing foreclosure activity from a year ago: Ohio (down 18 percent) and Illinois (down 44 percent).
  • Arizona's foreclosure rate dropped out of the top 10 highest for the first time since February 2007, joining California's foreclosure rate, which was out of the top 10 for the sixth consecutive month in July, and Michigan's foreclosure rate, which was out of the top 10 for the fifth consecutive month in July.
  • Nine of the nation's 10 highest metro foreclosure rates in July were in Florida cities, and five of those nine Florida cities posted increasing foreclosure activity from a year ago.
  • Among the nation's 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas, 10 posted increasing foreclosure activity from the previous month and five posted increasing foreclosure activity from a year ago: Baltimore (up 182 percent), Miami (up 58 percent), New York (up 42 percent), Philadelphia (up 11 percent), and Washington, D.C. (up 5 percent).

"While foreclosures are continuing to boil over in a select group of markets where state legislation and court rulings kept a lid on foreclosure activity during the worst of the housing crisis, the foreclosure boil-over markets are becoming fewer and farther between as lenders have caught up with the backlog of delayed foreclosures in some of the states with the more lengthy judicial foreclosure process," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. "For example, Illinois foreclosure activity has now decreased on a year-over-year basis for eight consecutive months following 11 straight months of annual increases, and Ohio has seen three consecutive months with annual decreases following eight straight months with annual increases.

"U.S. foreclosure activity in July is 64 percent below the peak of more than 367,000 properties with foreclosure filings in March 2010, but is still 54 percent above the historical average of 85,000 properties with foreclosure filings per month before the housing bubble burst in late 2006," Blomquist continued. "There are a dozen states, however, where foreclosure activity levels in July were at or below average monthly levels prior to the bubble bursting. Those states include Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Indiana and Michigan, and we expect the number of states in this category to increase in the coming months."

Local broker quotes from the RealtyTrac Network

  • "We continue to see positive signs of growth in the Oklahoma housing market. There are more investors looking to buy REOs in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa markets than we've ever seen," said Sheldon Detrick, CEO of Prudential Detrick Realty/Prudential Alliance Realty in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla. "The supply of available REO properties is nowhere near the level of demand, so it's becoming common place to receive multiple offers and to sell REOs over the listing price."
  • "More and more homes are now coming on the market from non-distressed homeowners thanks to the snap back in pricing that homeowners have experienced over the past 12 months or so," said Rich Cosner, CEO of Prudential California Realty, covering Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in Southern California. "Because these prices moved up in favor of the homeowners, more and more people are now putting their home on the market and over time this will relieve the dire inventory shortage."

Florida, Maryland, Ohio post top state foreclosure rates
Florida posted the nation's highest state foreclosure rate for the third consecutive month in July: one in every 328 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month -- more than three times the national average. Florida foreclosure activity increased 8 percent from the previous month and was up 7 percent from a year ago. Florida foreclosure activity has increased on an annual basis in 16 of the last 19 months. Florida foreclosure starts decreased 28 percent from a year ago -- the fifth consecutive month with an annual decrease in foreclosure starts -- but scheduled foreclosure auctions increased 74 percent from a year ago and bank repossessions increased 13 percent from a year ago.

Maryland documented the nation's second highest state foreclosure rate in July -- the highest foreclosure rate ranking for the state since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005. A total of 3,962 Maryland properties had foreclosure filings during the month, an increase of 148 percent from a year ago and one in every 598 housing units. Maryland foreclosure starts increased 275 percent annually while scheduled auctions were up 96 percent and bank repossessions were up 101 percent during the same time period. Including July, overall foreclosure activity in Maryland has increased annually for 13 consecutive months.

Despite an 18 percent year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity in July, Ohio posted the nation's third highest state foreclosure rate for the month: one in every 639 housing units with a foreclosure filing. Including July, Ohio foreclosure activity has decreased annually for three consecutive months after hitting a 33-month high in April.

A 33 percent monthly increase in foreclosure activity in July helped boost Connecticut's foreclosure rate to fourth highest nationwide -- the highest ranking for the state since it was at No. 2 in April 2007. A total of 2,247 Connecticut properties had a foreclosure filing during the month, one in every 660 housing units and a 46 percent increase from July 2012 -- the sixth consecutive month with an annual increase in foreclosure activity.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the 10 highest nationwide were New Mexico (one in every 678 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Illinois (one in every 682 housing units), Nevada (one in every 731 housing units), Georgia (one in every 742 housing units), South Carolina (one in every 785 housing units), and Utah (one in every 824 housing units).

Top metro foreclosure rates dominated by Florida cities
With one in every 230 housing units with a foreclosure filing in July, Jacksonville, Fla., posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more. Foreclosure activity in the Jacksonville metro area increased 19 percent from the previous month and was up 24 percent from a year ago -- the ninth consecutive month where the metro has reported an annual increase in foreclosure activity.

Eight other Florida cities posted foreclosure rates among the top 10 highest nationwide: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at No. 2 (one in every 250 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Port St. Lucie at No. 3 (one in 256 housing units); Ocala at No. 4 (one in every 294 housing units); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville at No. 5 (one in every 296 housing units); Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater at No. 7 (one in 334 housing units); Orlando-Kissimmee at No. 8 (one in 344 housing units); Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent at No. 9 (one in every 345 housing units); and Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice at No. 10 (one in 394 housing units).

The only metro outside of Florida with a top 10 foreclosure rate was Albuquerque, N.M., at No. 6 with one in every 331 housing units with a foreclosure filing in July.

20 major metro foreclosure trends
With one in every 250 housing units with a foreclosure filing, Miami posted the highest foreclosure rate among the nation's 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas by population. Miami was one of 10 markets among the 20 largest to post a month-over-month increase in foreclosure activity and one of five to post a year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity.

Report methodology
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 -- broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded in previous months. 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's 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). The report does not count a property again if it receives the same type of foreclosure filing multiple times within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located.

Click here to learn about RealtyTrac's report methodology and to view detailed data by state.

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RealtyTrac ( is the 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.