Parsing foreclosure data in search of
trends is becoming increasingly difficult as evidenced by the RealtyTrac's
October U.S. Foreclosure market Report.
Basic numbers of foreclosure related filings are getting more and more
conflated by local situations such as the type of foreclosure process followed
in a particular state, new consumer laws, and now the impact of Hurricane Sandy
which hit at the very end of the current reporting period but will apparently
be felt strongly in coming months.
RealtyTrac reports that foreclosure
filings across the three categories totaled 186,455 in October. This is an increase of 3 percent from
September but is 19 percent lower than one year earlier. One in every 706 U.S. housing units received
a foreclosure filing during October.
The first two
categories, foreclosure starts/default notices and scheduled auctions were filed
for the first time on 89,209 U.S. properties, a 2 percent increase from
September but still down 19 percent from October 2011 - the third straight
month with an annual decrease in foreclosure starts.
Lenders completed the foreclosure
process on 53,478 U.S. properties in October, down less than 1 percent from the
previous month but 21 percent lower than in October 2011. It was the 24th straight month
with an annual decrease in REO activity.
"We continued to see vastly
different foreclosure trends across the country in October, depending primarily
on how each state's foreclosing infrastructure was able to handle the high
volume of delinquent loans during the worst of the foreclosure crisis in 2010,"
said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac."Unfortunately the three
states dealing with the biggest rebound in deferred foreclosure activity - New
Jersey, New York and Connecticut - also had to deal with the devastation to
homes inflicted by super storm Sandy. The foreclosure moratoriums being put
into effect as a result of the storm will likely extend the already-lengthy
time to foreclose in these states, further prolonging a fundamentally sound
In the 34 counties in Connecticut,
New Jersey and New York that are being given individual assistance by FEMA, a
total of 6,380 properties had foreclosure filings in October (the storm struck the
area on October 29) down 8 percent from September but an increase of 92 percent
from October 2011. Despite the sharp
year-over-year increase, the foreclosure rate in those counties combined was
less than half the national average: one in every 1,467 housing units with a
foreclosure filing. All three states are
judicial foreclosure states and have had these very high inventories of homes
in the process of foreclosure for some time and exceptionally long periods of
delinquency leading to those foreclosures.
At the end of October, total inventory of properties in some stage of
foreclosure or bank owned in these counties was 124,608, up 15 percent from the
previous month and up 54 percent from October 2011. The estimated combined
market value of foreclosure inventory in the impacted counties was more than
Fannie Mae owned the biggest
percentage of REO inventory of any lender in the impacted counties in all three
states, with 29 percent in New York, 25 percent in New Jersey, and 22 percent
in Connecticut. Other lenders with large percentages of REO inventory in the
impacted counties included Wells Fargo, US BankCorp and Deutsche Bank.
The three states with the biggest
annual increases in foreclosure activity in October were again those three
states most affected by Sandy, New Jersey (140 percent), New York (123 percent)
and Connecticut (41 percent). Other states with sizable increases were Maryland
(27 percent), Ohio (24 percent) and Illinois (19 percent).
Florida posted the nation's highest
foreclosure rate for the second month in a row, with one in every 312 housing
units with a foreclosure filing in October, more than twice the national
average. It was followed by Nevada,
Illinois, California and Arizona.