June Foreclosure Starts Decline Leads to Less Filings

A 21% drop in foreclosure starts during the month helped contribute to the overall foreclosure decline. Image: Fotolia

June foreclosure filings accounted for the lowest monthly amount in six and a half years, RealtyTrac revealed in its midyear foreclosure market report.

A total of 127,790 U.S. properties had a foreclosure filing in June, down 14% from the prior month and a 35% decrease compared to a year ago.

A 21% drop in foreclosure starts during the month helped contribute to the overall foreclosure decline. With 30,001 foreclosure starts in June nationwide, this is the fewest monthly level since December 2005.

For the year, the Irvine, Calif.-based analytic company said foreclosure starts are on pace to hit more than 800,000, which would be down from 1.1 million properties that began the default foreclosure process last year.  

June foreclosure starts decreased on a monthly basis in 38 states, with the most notable drops happening in Nevada (down 84%), Colorado (62%), New Jersey (40%), Illinois (39%) and Florida (26%).  

“The drop in foreclosure starts in Reno is not surprising since NODs were at a 20-month high last month,” said Craig King, chief operating officer at Chase International brokerage, which covers the Reno and Lake Tahoe markets. “New laws were passed in this year’s session of the Nevada Legislature affecting homeowner’s rights and distressed property. Lenders, Realtors and attorneys are working to sort out these new laws, which could take some time.”

Halfway through 2013, RealtyTrac reported 801,359 U.S. properties with a foreclosure filing—default notice, scheduled auction and bank repossession. As of the first six months of the year, foreclosure filings are down 23% from the same time period a year ago.

RealtyTrac also said that 0.61% of all housing units, or one in 164, had at least one foreclosure filing in the first six months of 2013.

Florida posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate during the six-month period, where one in every 58 properties filed for foreclosure, which is nearly three times the national average. Contributing to the Sunshine State earning this top spot was that five metropolitans with a population of 200,000 or more led the country in foreclosure rates, with Miami leading this list. Furthermore, Florida cities accounted for a total of 12 of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates.  

Rounding out the top five states in foreclosure rates were: Nevada (one in every 71), Illinois (one in 83), Ohio (one in every 104) and Georgia (one in every 117).

“Halfway through 2013 it is becoming increasingly evident that while foreclosures are no longer a problem nationally they continue to a thorn in the side of several state and local markets,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

Other news from report for the month of June is that bank repossessions fell 9% month-over-month and 35% year-over-year. Year to date through June, lenders have repossessed a total of 248,538 housing units.

REO activity in June decreased from last year in 34 states, but was up during this time in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Maryland, Washington, New Jersey and New York.

Additionally, judicial foreclosure auctions were scheduled for 28,296 properties for the month, slightly less than a 1% increase on a monthly basis but up 34% from June 2012. Some states with a significant uptick in scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions included New Jersey (up 103%), Florida (100%), Maryland (94%), New York (96%) and Illinois (65%), marking a 35-month high.  

“The increases in judicial foreclosure auctions demonstrate that these delayed foreclosure cases are now being moved more quickly through to foreclosure completion,” Blomquist added. “Given the rising home prices in most of these markets, it is an opportune time for lenders to dispose of these distressed properties, either at the foreclosure auction to a third-party buyer, or by repossessing the property at the auction and subsequently selling it as a bank-owned home.”