Foreclosure activity falls to a 12-year low

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Foreclosure filings were reported on 676,535 properties nationwide in 2017, marking the lowest level of foreclosure activity since 2005, according to Attom Data Solutions.

Foreclosure activity dropped 27% from 933,045 properties with filings in 2016 and 76% from its 2010 peak of almost 2.9 million properties.

"Thanks to a housing boom driven primarily by a scarcity of supply, which has helped to limit home purchases to the most highly qualified and low-risk borrowers, the U.S. housing market has the luxury of playing a version of foreclosure limbo in which it searches for how low foreclosures can go," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom, in a press release.

Foreclosure starts hit an all-time low as lenders started the foreclosure process on 383,701 properties in 2017, down 20% from the previous year to the lowest level since 2006, the earliest data is available.

Despite the national trend, five states and the District of Columbia posted annual increases in foreclosure starts in 2017; these states include Illinois, Oklahoma, Louisiana, West Virginia and Vermont.

A total of 318,165 properties were scheduled for public foreclosure auction on 2017, declining 20% from 2016 to another new all-time low since 2006.

But the District of Columbia and seven other states still posted scheduled foreclosure growth in 2017, including New York which is up 9% to the highest level since 2006.

Lenders repossessed 291,579 properties through foreclosure last year, an 11-year low from 2006 and a decline of 23% from 2016.

New Jersey, along with six other states and the District of Columbia, posted a year-over-year increase in REO in 2017. The Garden State had the highest foreclosure rate in 2017, where 1.61% of housing units had a foreclosure filing.

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Foreclosures REO Distressed Mortgage defaults Attom Data Solutions