Foreclosure activity reaches lowest point in over 11 years

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U.S. foreclosure activity dropped to a low not seen since 2006, according to Attom Data Solutions.

There were 191,824 properties with foreclosure filings during the third quarter, down 35% year-over-year and down 13% from the previous quarter. The active filings include default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions and are at the lowest level seen since the second quarter of 2006.

The third quarter marked the fourth consecutive quarter where foreclosure activity has tracked below the prerecession average of 278,912.

"Legacy foreclosures from the high-risk loans originated between 2004 and 2008 have largely been cleared out of the distressed market pipeline," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom, in a press release.

"Meanwhile, loans originated during the housing boom of the last five years are posting foreclosure rates below historic averages, with the notable exception of FHA loans originated in 2014, which have the highest foreclosure rate of any FHA loan vintage since 2009 — 29% above the historic average for FHA loans although still 55% below the peak in 2007."

In the third quarter, lenders initiated the foreclosure process for 93,724 properties, signifying that foreclosure starts are down 7% from the previous quarter and 16% from a year ago. Foreclosure originations hit their lowest level since the second quarter of 2005, the earliest data was collected.

Opposite of the national trend, 51 of 217 analyzed metropolitan areas saw increases in foreclosure starts, including Cleveland with a 29% increase, Columbus, Ohio, with a rise of 23%, and Denver, where they were up 12%.

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