Foreclosure Filings Down 19 Percent In One Year

Foreclosures Per Capita January 2012 

Foreclosure filings fell 19 percent last month versus one year ago, says foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac. It’s yet one more signal that the U.S. housing market may have already climbed off its bottom.

According to RealtyTrac, a “foreclosure filing” is any one of the following foreclosure-related events : (1) A default notice on a home; (2) A scheduled auction for a home; or, (3) A bank repossession of a home.

In looking at the January 2012 figures :

  • Default Notices were down 22% from January 2011
  • Scheduled Auctions were down 19% from January 2011
  • Bank Repossessions were down 15% from January 2011

On a monthly basis, however, the numbers weren’t so promising.

Default notices and scheduled auctions were mostly unchanged, but bank repossessions rose 8 percent. The rise in bank repossessions is likely because 2010’s robo-signing controversy has been rectified at the state and lender level.

This trend toward more bank-owned homes is expected to continue through 2012.

As in most months, January’s foreclosure activity was geographically concentrated. Nevada led the nation in Foreclosures Per Capita, followed closely by California. 13 states fared worse than the national average of 1 foreclosure per 624 households. 37 fared better.

The difference in foreclosure frequency among the two groupings was stark :

  • Top 13 Foreclosure States : 1 foreclosure per 435 households, on average
  • Bottom 37 Foreclosure States : 1 foreclosure per 5,101 households, on average

North Dakota had January’s lowest foreclosure rate nationwide. Just 1 in 63,500 homes was in some form of foreclosure in North Dakota last month.

As a first-time or seasoned buyer in Winter Park , foreclosed homes can be enticing. They’re plentiful and cheap. However, just because a foreclosed home can be bought for a “steal”, that doesn’t mean it’s worth buying. The process of buying a foreclosed homes is different from the process of buying a non-foreclosed home.

The contract-and-negotiation process may be different with a foreclosed property, and foreclosed homes are often sold “as-is”. This means the home you buy at auction could be run-down and defective to the point where it’s uninhabitable.

If you plan to buy a foreclosed home, therefore, have a real estate professional on your side. The internet can teach you much about how the Florida housing market works, but when it comes to writing contracts, you’ll want an experienced agent on your side.

Foreclosure Filings Fall To 49-Month Low

Annual Foreclosure Change, Top 10 States, December 2011

Foreclosure filings are fewer these days, according to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac.

In December 2011, the number of foreclosure filings nationwide fell 9 percent from the month prior. Not since November 2007 has foreclosure activity been this sparse across the country.

The drop does not appear to be seasonal, either. 

Last month’s foreclosure filings were down 20 percent from December 2010 with “foreclosure filing” defined to include any one of the following foreclosure-related events : (1) The serving of a default notice, (2) A scheduled home auction, or (3) A bank repossession. As a result of a unexpectedly strong year-end, 2011’s annual foreclosure rate was the lowest in 4 years.

One reason why the year may have closed so strongly is that Nevada, California, Michigan and Arizona — four states typically associated with high rates of foreclosures — each posted big drops in foreclosure filings between November and December, plus double-digit drops between December 2010 and December 2011.  

In fact, among the country’s top 10 states for foreclosure activity, nine showed an annual foreclosure filing reduction.

Only Delaware worsened.

It’s also noteworthy that just 4 states accounted for half of last month’s total foreclosure filings.

  • California : 25.8 percent of all foreclosure filings
  • Florida : 12.0 percent of all foreclosure filings
  • Michigan : 6.4 percent of all foreclosure filings
  • Illinois : 6.2 percent of all foreclosure filings

Foreclosures are heavily concentrated, in other words. By contrast, the last 1% of activity is spread across 14 states.

As a Winter Park home buyer — first-timer or investor — foreclosures can be a great way to find value.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, distressed homes typically sell at “deep discounts” as compared to like, non-distressed homes. However, when you buy a foreclosure home from a bank, it’s different from buying a home from a “person”. Purchase contract negotiations are different and months may pass before your closing is approved.

If you’re buying foreclosure, therefore, seek the help of a professional real estate agent. Real estate agents have experience working in the process-heavy world of foreclosures and can help you come out ahead.

Bank Repossessions Drop To A 44-Month Low

Foreclosure concentration November 2011Foreclosure activity continues to concentrate over just a few states.

According to foreclosure-tracker RealtyTrac, November’s foreclosure filings fell 3 percent as compared to October, and 14 percent from November 2010.

“Foreclosure filing” is a catch-all term for the various “action steps” throughout the foreclosure process. The grouping comprises default notices, scheduled home auctions, and bank repossessions.

As in most months, though, foreclosure activity remains concentrated by state. More than half of last month’s bank repossessions can be traced to just 6 states.

  1. California : 14.8% of all bank repossessions
  2. Florida : 12.7% of all bank repossessions
  3. Texas : 7.0% of all bank repossessions
  4. Georgia : 6.9% of all bank repossessions
  5. Arizona : 6.7% of all bank repossessions
  6. Michigan : 6.3% of all bank repossessions

Meanwhile, with just 5 repossessions, South Dakota topped the list of states with the fewest bank repossessions in November. The Mount Rushmore State accounted for just 0.009% of REO nationwide in a month in which bank repossessions dropped to a 44-month low point across the United States.

The drop in REO is coming at a tough time for today’s Winter Park home buyers. Distressed properties are in high demand — mostly because they sell at steep discounts.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, distressed homes accounted for 28 percent of all home sales in October. As fewer bank-owned homes become available, though, there will be fewer “deals” to be had.

Especially as the broader housing market continues to signal its recovery.

If you plan to buy a bank-owned foreclosed property, do your research first. As supplies drop, the price for foreclosed homes throughout FL relative to non-distressed homes may rise, rendering REO properties less of a relative “value”.

Before you write a contract, therefore, talk with a licensed real estate agent. There’s plenty of foreclosure data available online but, when it’s time to buy, you should have an experienced agent on your side.

Foreclosure Filings Climbing; 4 States Account For Half Of Nationwide Activity

Foreclosures per capita October 2011

Foreclosed homes are a hot market throughout FL — and supplies are ramping up.

According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, October’s foreclosure filings rose 7 percent to 231,000 filings nationwide.

A “foreclosure filing” is any one of the following foreclosure-related events : A default notice on a home; a scheduled auction for a home; or, a bank repossession of a home. Because of this definition, a single home can account for up to 3 foreclosure filings — one from each category. 

Because of this, we may glean more relevant insight into the foreclosure market by separating RealtyTrac’s foreclosure report into “event types”.

  • Default Notices : Up 10% from September 2011; Down 31% from October 2010.
  • Scheduled Auctions : Up 8% from September 2011; Down 38% from October 2010.
  • Bank Repossessions : Up 4% from September 2011; Down 27% from October 2010.

These breakdowns suggest that, although improved as compared to last year, the foreclosure market is growing. At least, it’s growing in some parts of the country. We can’t forget that — like everything real estate — foreclosures are a local phenomenon. 

In October, just 4 states accounted for more than half of the country’s foreclosure filings. Those four states — California, Florida, Michigan and Illinois — represent just 26% of the U.S. population.

Even on a per household basis, the figures remain disproportionate :

  • Top 10 Foreclosure States : 1 foreclosure per 341 households, on average
  • Bottom 10 Foreclosure States : 1 foreclosure per 7,434 households, on average

The nationwide foreclosure rate was 1 foreclosure per 563 households.

As a Winter Park home buyer, foreclosures are worth watching. They account for 18% of home resales nationwide and, in some markets, can be bought at steep discounts versus a comparable “non-distressed” home. That is part of their appeal, in fact.

But just because foreclosed properties can be a “deal”, it doesn’t mean you should rush to buy one. Buying a foreclosed home from a bank is different from buying a non-foreclosed home from a “person”. The contracts and negotiation process are different, and foreclosed homes are sometimes sold as-is.

“As-is” means “this home may have defects”.

Therefore, if you plan to buy a foreclosed home, talk with a real estate professional first. You can learn a lot about the housing market online, but with respect to writing an offer on a property, you’ll want an experienced agent on your side.

Annual Foreclosure Filings Down For 11th Straight Month

Foreclosure Change August 2010-2011

On an annual basis, foreclosure filings fell last month. As compared to August 2010, last month’s foreclosure filings dropped 33 percent. “Foreclosure filing” is a catch-all term, comprising default notices; scheduled auctions; and bank repossessions.

The study was published by foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac and this month’s report reveals a slowing rate of foreclosure within each of the Top 10 most foreclosure-heavy states.

All news is not good, however. 

On a monthly basis, foreclosure filings spiked, led by a surge in default notices. Default notices made their biggest one-month jump since August 2007 on the way to a 9-month high last month. Default notices are the first step in the foreclosure process so this jump may foreshadow a large number of bank repossessions as foreclosures “make their way through the process“.

It’s also noteworthy that just 6 states housed half of the nation’s bank repossessions last month.

  • California : 18 percent of bank repossessions
  • Florida : 8 percent of bank repossessions
  • Georgia : 7 percent of bank repossessions
  • Michigan : 6 percent of bank repossessions
  • Texas : 6 percent of bank repossessions
  • Arizona : 6 percent of bank repossessions

As a home buyer in Orlando , foreclosures can save you money. The National Association of REALTORS® reports that distressed homes sell with typical discounts of 20 percent versus comparable, non-distressed homes. However, buying a home from a bank is a different process from buying a home from a “person”. Contract negotiations are different and it can take months to finally close on a foreclosed home.

If you’re buying a foreclosed, therefore, enlist the help of a professional real estate agent. Real estate agents can help you navigate the sometimes-complicated world of foreclosures, and help you come out ahead.

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