It has been a long eight years, but
foreclosure activity appears to have returned to levels last seen before the
housing downturn was born in 2006.
RealtyTrac said today that the 2 percent decrease in the various types
of foreclosure filings in June brought overall activity down to the lowest it
has been since July of that year. The
company released its Midyear Foreclosure Market Report which contains data on
both June foreclosure filings and those that occurred during the first half of
June filings, including default notices,
scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions or completed foreclosures, were
filed on a total of 107,194 properties, down 2 percent from May and 16 percent
from June 2013. For the first half of
the year there were 613,874 filings, a decrease of 19
percent from the last half of 2013 and 23 percent from the first six months of
that year. Filings at mid-year equate to
one filing for every 214 housing units in the U.S.
"Nationwide foreclosure activity in
June reached an important milestone, dropping to levels not seen since before
the housing price bubble burst in August 2006," said Daren Blomquist, vice
president at RealtyTrac. "Over the next six to nine months nationwide
foreclosure numbers should start to flat line at consistently historically
Ten states also were at the lowest
level of foreclosure activity in June since the housing bubble burst in August
2006. These include Texas, Georgia,
Colorado, Tennessee, Arizona and Nevada.
Activity was down during the first half of the year compared to the
first six months of 2013 in all but nine states. Among those with the larger increases were New
Jersey which was up 54 percent, Maryland (+18 percent), Iowa (+10 percent), and
Massachusetts and Connecticut, each with 4 percent increases.
Overall foreclosure rates during the
first half of the year were highest in Florida with one filing for every 74
housing units, Maryland with one in 107, Illinois, one in 123; New Jersey, one
in 134; and Nevada, one in 138.
There were 47,243 first-time
foreclosure starts in June, down 4 percent from May and 18 percent from a year
earlier and the lowest number since November 2005. Foreclosure starts for the first six months
numbered 315,895. At the current pace foreclosure
starts will probably exceed 630,000 by the end of the year compared to a
finally tally of 747,728 for all of 2013.
Foreclosure starts in June increased
from the previous month in 15 states and were up from a year ago in 20 states. States will large annual increase include Massachusetts
(+105 percent), New Jersey (+70 percent), Nevada and Indiana (+65 percent), and
Oregon (+50 percent).
There were 26,889 completed
foreclosures in June and 174,691 during the first six months of the year. June's foreclosures were down 5 percent from
May and 24 percent from June 2013 and represented an 84 month low. Based on the midyear number RealtyTrac
estimates there will be 350,000 foreclosures this year, down from 462,970 in
all of 2013.
Completed foreclosures in June were
higher than in May in 16 states and higher than a year ago in 12. Both Iowa and Maryland had 86 percent more
foreclosures in June than a year earlier, New York was up 49 percent and Oregon
Foreclosure auctions were scheduled
for the first time on 46,743 U.S. properties in June, 1 percent fewer than in May
and down 13 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since July 2006 - a
95-month low. Scheduled auctions
increased from May in 12 states and from a year ago in 17 with the largest
increases of 68 percent and 62 percent respectively in Connecticut and
"There continue to be concerning
trends in some states and local markets that clearly indicate those markets are
not completely out of the woods when it comes to the lingering foreclosure
problem left over from the housing bust," Blomquist said. "While it's important
that any remaining foreclosure infection is addressed promptly to keep it from
festering, foreclosures are no longer a widespread contagion threatening to
derail the housing market's return to full health."
Despite dwindling numbers of
foreclosure filings the timeline to complete a foreclosure continues to
lengthen. The average time to complete a
foreclosure in the second quarter of 2014 was 577 days, up from 572 days in the
first quarter and 526 days in the second quarter of 2013 while in New Jersey it
currently takes nearly twice as long, an average of 1,098 days. The process is also extremely lengthy in New
York (930 days), Hawaii (915 days), Illinois (850 days) and Massachusetts (784