Foreclosure filings, default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions decreased 15 percent decrease from the previous month and a 37 percent from a year ago according to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for November.
The 15 percent monthly decrease in November was the biggest month-over-month decrease since November 2010 when U.S. foreclosure activity plummeted 21 percent in one month following the revelation of the so-called robo-signing scandal in October 2010.
High-level findings from the report:
- A total of 52,826 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in November, down 10 percent from the previous month and down 32 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since December 2005, when 49,236 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process.
- November foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 15 states, including Pennsylvania (up 233 percent), Delaware (up 104 percent), Maryland (up 74 percent), Oregon (up 38 percent), and Connecticut (up 37 percent).
- There were a total of 30,461 U.S. bank repossessions (REO) in November, down 19 percent from the previous month and down 48 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since July 2007, a 76-month low.
- Only five states posted year-over-year increases in REOs: Delaware (179 percent increase), Maryland (41 percent increase), Connecticut (9 percent increase), Maine (6 percent increase) and Iowa (2 percent increase).
- Scheduled foreclosure auctions (which are foreclosure starts in some states) in November increased from a year ago in 19 states, including Oregon (726 percent increase), Massachusetts (217 percent increase), Utah (214 percent increase), Connecticut (199 percent increase), Delaware (104 percent increase) and New York (34 percent increase).
- States with the highest foreclosure rates were Florida, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina and Illinois. Among metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more, those with the highest foreclosure rates were the Florida cities of Jacksonville, Miami, Port St. Lucie and Palm Bay, along with Rockford, Ill.
- Among the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, those with the highest foreclosure rates were in Miami, Tampa, Chicago, Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California and Baltimore. Only three of the 20 largest metros posted annual increases in foreclosure activity: Baltimore (up 46 percent), Philadelphia (up 34 percent) and Washington, D.C. (up 6 percent).
“While some of the decrease in November can be attributed to seasonality, the depth and breadth of the decrease provides strong evidence that we are entering the ninth inning of this foreclosure crisis with the outcome all but guaranteed,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “While foreclosures will likely continue to stage a weak rally in certain markets next year as the last of the distress left over from the Great Recession is dealt with, it is highly unlikely that there will be a foreclosure comeback that poses any major threat to the solid housing recovery that has now taken hold.”