RealtyTrac, the nation's leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for November 2014, which shows foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - were reported on 123,109 U.S. properties in October, an increase of 15 percent from the previous month but still down 8 percent from a year ago.
The 15 percent monthly increase was the largest month-over-month increase since U.S. foreclosure activity peaked in March 2010. The report also shows one in every 1,069 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.
A total of 59,869 U.S. properties were scheduled for foreclosure auction during the month, up 24 percent from the previous month and up 7 percent from a year ago to the highest level since May 2013. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in judicial foreclosure states, where foreclosures are processed through the court system, increased 21 percent from the previous month and were up 3 percent from a year ago and. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in non-judicial states increased 27 percent from the previous month and were up 14 percent from a year ago.
"The October foreclosure numbers are not a complete surprise given that over the past three years there has been an average 8 percent monthly uptick in scheduled foreclosure auctions in October as banks try to get ahead of the usual holiday foreclosure moratoriums," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "But the sheer magnitude of the increase this year demonstrates there is more than just a seasonal pattern at work. Distressed properties that have been in a holding pattern for years are finally being cleared for landing at the foreclosure auction.
"There is still strong demand from the large institutional investors at the foreclosure auction in some markets, but even in markets with decreasing demand at the foreclosure auction, banks can be confident in selling REO properties quickly and at a good price," Blomquist continued. "That's because there is still strong demand from buyers, particularly in the lower price ranges, combined with a dearth of distressed homes listed for sale."
Scheduled foreclosure auctions increased from a year ago in 29 states, including Oregon (up 399 percent), North Carolina (up 288 percent), New Jersey (up 118 percent), New York (up 89 percent), Connecticut (up 60 percent), Nevada (up 53 percent), Alabama (up 41 percent), Washington (up 36 percent), Indiana (up 36 percent), California (up 19 percent) and South Carolina (up 18 percent).
Other high-level findings from the report:
- Lenders repossessed 27,914 U.S. properties via foreclosure (REO) in October, up 22 percent from the previous month but down 26 percent from a year ago. October posted the largest monthly increase in REOs since June 2009.
- REOs increased from a year ago in 16 states, including Maryland (up 190 percent), Pennsylvania (up 25 percent), New Jersey (up 22 percent), Oregon (up 20 percent) and New York (up 18 percent).
- Overall foreclosure activity increased from a year ago in 10 of the nation's 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas in terms of population, including Washington, D.C. (26 percent increase), Philadelphia (13 percent increase), Baltimore (13 percent increase), Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California (8 percent increase), and New York (7 percent increase).
- Among the nation's 20 largest metros, those with the five highest foreclosure rates were Miami (one in every 363 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Tampa (one in every 395 housing units); Baltimore (one in every 435 housing units); Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California (one in every 495 housing units); and Chicago (one in every 553 housing units).
- A total of 56,452 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in October, up 12 percent from previous month but down 4 percent from a year ago. This was the largest monthly increase in U.S. foreclosure starts since August 2011.
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