(NEW YORK) -- Foreclosure activity dropped 3 percent in November from October, marking the 26th month in a row with an annual decrease, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac.
The foreclosure tracking firm says 180,817 U.S. properties received a foreclosure notice last month, down 19 percent from November 2011.
RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist tells ABC News Radio the drop was mainly driven by an annual decrease in foreclosure starts.
"The number of properties starting the foreclosure process hit a 71-month low in the month of November -- it's the lowest level we've seen since December of 2006," he says.
But it wasn't all good news on the housing front. Bank seizures were up 11 percent from October and up 5 percent from the year before -- a nine-month high and the first year-over-year increase in repossessions since October 2010, RealtyTrac reports.
"Even though fewer properties are starting the foreclosure process, more of the properties that are 'in' the foreclosure process are now being taken back by the banks, which is going to continue to be a drag on the housing market in the short term as those housing properties are listed and sold on the market," Blomquist says.
He predicts, "I think we're gonna continue to see some jumps in those bank repossessions, especially in some of the states with the longest foreclosure process going into 2013."
These states include Alaska, Alabama, Maine and Maryland, which were among nine states that hit foreclosure highs in November.
The others? "Florida, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and South Carolina are some of the notable ones that November was the highest level we've seen over the last 12 months or more," Blomquist says.
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