Entries in RealtyTrac (30)


Foreclosure Filings Fall to Lowest Rate Since 2007

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After six years, the national foreclosure crisis may soon be nearing an end.

According to listings firm RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosure filings reported in January 2013 dropped 7 percent from the previous month and 28 percent from January 2012. According to the report, one in every 869 housing units in the United States had a foreclosure filing in January.

Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, cites legislation that went into effect on January 1 in California as having a profound impact on U.S. foreclosure numbers. The legislation, dubbed the Homeowners Bill of Rights, aided the state in decreasing foreclosures by 75 percent from January 2012.

For the fifth consecutive month, Florida had the highest foreclosure rate of any state. According to RealtyTrac, one in every 300 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing in January -- more than twice the national average.  Florida also had the highest total number of housing units with foreclosure filings of any state in January, marking the first time since January 2007 that California does not hold that distinction.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Buying a Foreclosed Home in NY, Fla. Can Save You 30% or More

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you're in the market for a new home this year, you may want to check out Florida and New York, suggests a new report from RealtyTrac.

"There's a lot of cities in Florida and New York where there's a lot of foreclosure inventory waiting in the wings to be sold off," RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist tells ABC News Radio.

Snatching up a foreclosed home can save you about 30 percent or more on the price, Blomquist says.

"Jacksonville, [Fla.], a 32 percent discount.  Chicago had one of the higher discounts at 46 percent," he points out.

The catch is that these homes may not be in the best condition.

As Blomquist explains, "There's a reason you get that 30 percent discount.  It's not just, it's not too good to be true.  It's because typically these properties are in not as good a condition.  The homeowner has not been able to keep up the home."

He suggests buying a foreclosed home would be good for someone looking to renovate and sell the property for a profit, or someone "looking to buy a home with some built in equity to start with."

As for the places where you won't score such a great deal, RealtyTrac says Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., and Las Vegas are among the worst places to buy a foreclosed home in 2013.

"Las Vegas we're ranking as one of the worst places to buy foreclosures in 2013 because the numbers of foreclosures have just fallen off the cliff there," Blomquist says.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Foreclosure Activity Dropped by 3% in 2012, But Rose in 25 States

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A total of 1,836,634 U.S. properties received a foreclosure filing last year, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac, marking a 3 percent drop from 2011.

The latest figure is also down 36 percent from 2010, when foreclosure filings peaked.

But while the picture looked positive nationwide, the foreclosure tracking firm found that that wasn't the case for some states.

"We saw 25 states nationwide, actually, had increase in foreclosure activity from 2011 to 2012, counter to the national trend -- and some of those increases were pretty significant," said RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist.

Foreclosure activity rose 55 percent in New Jersey last year; 53 percent in Florida; 48 percent in Connecticut; 46 percent in Indiana; 33 percent in Illinois; and 31 percent in New York.

"Those states tend to be the states with the longer foreclosure process," explained Blomquist.

Another negative finding from RealtyTrac's report: 26 percent of all homes with a mortgage are seriously under water.

"There are still 10.9 million homeowners nationwide who owe more on their property than what it's worth -- and that's just gonna take time as home prices gradually increase, for those homeowners to get out from that negative equity position," Blomquist said.

But there has been some improvement, as Blomquist pointed out.

"That number of negative equity homeowners is down 1.6 million from a year ago -- so, a year ago, it was at 12.5 million -- and so, we're making progress on that front, too, but it's not gonna be overnight that we get out of the problems created by the housing bubble," he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Foreclosure Filings Drop 3% in November; Bank Seizures Jump 11%

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(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.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Foreclosure Sales Jump 21% in Third Quarter

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The number of foreclosed homes that were sold in the third quarter shot up by 21 percent, RealtyTrac reports.

The foreclosure tracking firm says a total of 193,059 U.S. properties in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned were sold during that time.


While the figures are a step in the right direction, "it's still not up to the heights of the foreclosure sales that we were seeing back in 2009 and 2010," says RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist.

"But there does appear to be a resurgence of banks releasing some of their foreclosure inventory for sale in the last couple of quarters," he adds.

Compared to the third quarter of 2011, foreclosures sales were down by 3 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sandy-Affected States Had Biggest Foreclosure Increases

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Foreclosures increased 3 percent in October from September to 186,455 U.S. properties, according to RealtyTrac, as states with longer legal processes finally see their foreclosures close.

The foreclosure research firm reported Thursday that one in every 706 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing in October, which is still above levels for a healthy housing market but still 19 percent down from October 2011.


“Nationally, the trend appears to be downward, but what stood out to me are the sharp increases in foreclosure activity in many of the judicial foreclosure states where the foreclosure process is much more lengthy,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.

The three states with the biggest annual increases in foreclosure activity in October happened to be those most affected by Superstorm Sandy, which Blomquist called a coincidence.  They were New Jersey (140 percent), New York (123 percent) and Connecticut (41 percent).

The foreclosure moratoriums in effect as a result of Sandy will likely extend the already-lengthy time to foreclose in these states, further delaying a sound housing recovery, he said.

Another source of worry was an increase in foreclosure activity in metropolitan areas that had previously been on a downward trend.  Those include Las Vegas (up 45 percent) and Modesto, Calif. (up 68 percent).

“It’s a little bit early because it’s a one-month trend, but those types of big increases are a little concerning,” Blomquist said.  “We’re definitely not out of the woods yet.  There are still batches of foreclosures that those markets have to absorb.”

Florida had the country’s highest foreclosure rate for the second month in a row, as one in every 312 housing units had a foreclosure filing in October, followed by Nevada, Illinois, California and Arizona.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Most County Housing Markets Worse Off over Last Four Years, Says RealtyTrac

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While housing prices are on the rise, foreclosure and real estate research firm RealtyTrac reported that 65 percent of 919 county housing markets are worse off than they were four years ago, based mostly on factors including average sales price and foreclosure inventory.

With the 2012 Election Day just two weeks away, both Republicans and Democrats are grabbing at data to show that the economy has improved or worsened.

Housing data from S&P/Case-Shiller index and the National Association of Realtors show a rise in the average price of a home. Last week, the association showed sales fell 1.7 percent in September compared with a month earlier, but were up 11 percent over a year ago.

In the latest RealtyTrac report, the company compared data from the second quarters of 2008, the near-end of President George W. Bush's administration, and 2012 under President Obama. During the last four years, foreclosure inventory peaked in 2010 at 2.2 million, but has declined to 1.5 million.

Here are 10 counties that RealtyTrac noted are worse off and five counties that are better off compared to four years ago.

Cook County, Ill.
Average sales price: -17 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: 37 percent

King County, Wash.
Average sales price: -16 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: 62 percent

Salt Lake County, Utah
Average sales price: -36 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: 49 percent

Pima County, Ariz.
Average sales price: -31 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: 17 percent

Honolulu County, Hawaii
Average sales price: -20 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: 650 percent

Du Page County, Ill.
Average sales price: -18 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: 65 percent

Gwinnett County, Ga.
Average sales price: -19 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: 24 percent

Montgomery County, Pa.
Average sales price: -7 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: 77 percent


Snohomish County, Wash.
Average sales price: -16 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: 94 percent

Lake County, Ill.
Average sales price: -22 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: 78 percent

Orange County, Calif.
Average sales price: 2 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: -38 percent

New York County, N.Y.
Average sales price: 29 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: -12 percent

Middlesex County, Mass.
Average sales price: 10 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: -10 percent

Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Average sales price: 13 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: -44 percent

Fairfax County, Va.
Average sales price: 7 percent
Foreclosure Inventory: 60 percent

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Foreclosure Filings Down 3% in July

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The number of U.S. households that received a foreclosure notice dropped in July and was down from a year ago, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac.

The foreclosure tracking firm said on Thursday that 191,925 properties were hit with foreclosure filings last month, marking a 3 percent drop from June and a 10 percent decrease from July 2011.

While initial foreclosure activity was up on an annual basis for the third straight month in July, RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist says the overall trend has been positive.

"For the past 22 months there has been a decrease in foreclosure activity nationwide," he says.

The exceptions are Arizona, California and Florida, which, Blomquist notes, are still reporting higher than normal foreclosures.  Yet, he says the future for the housing market looks brighter.

"We're headed in the right direction.  We are past the worst of this foreclosure crisis and on the downslope so that's good news," Blomquist says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Foreclosure Crisis Remains Despite Housing Market Gains

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In what may be the closest thing yet to an official pronouncement that the housing market has finally started to get better, economists are increasingly saying that despite a slow down in the foreclosure recovery, the market is improving.

David Blitzer, chief economist of Standard and Poor’s, the company that releases the influential Case-Shiller report, says that in most markets prices are rising.  

The Wall Street Journal reports, “The housing market has turned -- at last.”

And a survey by Wells Fargo Securities economists finds that even as the recovery slows down, “the budding recovery in the housing market appears to be gradually gaining momentum.”

But the foreclosure crisis is far from over.

Foreclosure tracking firm RealtyTrac says foreclosure filings fell 11 percent in the first half of this year, but banks are increasingly putting troubled property owners on notice for possible action.  That means there could be a rise in auction sales and bank repossessions by early next year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Foreclosures Up 9 Percent in May, RealtyTrac Report Says

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(IRVINE, Calif.) -- U.S. foreclosure activity increased nine percent in May compared with the month before, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac.

RealtyTrac says nearly 206,000 U.S. properties were in default or foreclosure, under bank repossession, or scheduled for auction in May -- a nine-percent increase from April, but still down four percent from May 2011. The report also shows that more than 109,000 properties had started the foreclosure process in May 2012 -- a 12-percent increase from the month before and 16 percent from a year ago.

RealtyTrac vice president Darren Bloomquist said many of these foreclosure starts will become bank-approved short sales and are good for the market.  Short sales are properties on which the foreclosure process has started, but the homeowner is able to sell the property for less than is owed on the mortgage before the process is complete.

"The short sales usually sell at a higher price point.  And they also represent properties that transfer to a new homeowner right away. Whereas with a bank repossession, you usually end up with a vacant property sitting for several months and contributing to often-declines in neighborhood values," Bloomquist told ABC News Radio.

But Bloomquist said though home sales are heading in an upward direction with buyers willing to purchase foreclosed properties, last month's foreclosure spike may be a sign that the nation is not out of the woods yet regarding its foreclosure problem.

"Foreclosures in general have been trending downward over the last year and a half, and I think, in part, that's because slowly we are working our way through the foreclosure problem," Bloomquist said. "But [sic] those decreases have been exaggerated because of delays in processing foreclosures."

Additional findings included in the RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report:

  • Foreclosure activity rose back up above the 200,000 level in May after two consecutive months below 200,000.
  • Foreclosure starts nationwide increased on an annual basis after 27 consecutive months of year-over-year declines.
  • Judicial states combined posted a 26 percent year-over-year increase in overall foreclosure activity while non-judicial states combined posted a 20 percent year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity.
  • Foreclosure starts increased on a year-over-year basis in 17 of the 26 judicial states and in 16 of the 24 non-judicial states.
  • Georgia leapfrogged past Arizona, Florida, California and Nevada to post the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in May, the first time since February 2006 that Georgia’s foreclosure rate has ranked highest among the states.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio