Foreclosures up in January

by Ryan Smith13 Feb 2014
Foreclosure filings were up 8% in January after a lull over Christmas, according to data released today.

According to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, foreclosure filings were reported on 124,419 U.S. properties in January. That’s up 8% from December, but still 18% less than January 2013. One in every 1,058 U.S. households had a foreclosure filing last month, according to RealtyTrac.

Although January marked the 40th consecutive month of year-over-year declines in foreclosure filings, the 18% annual decrease was the smallest yearly decrease since September of 2012. The 8% month-over-month increase, meanwhile, was the largest since May of 2012.

“The monthly increase in January foreclosure activity was somewhat expected after a holiday lull, but the sharp annual increases in some states shows that many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “The foreclosure rebound pattern is not only showing up in judicial states like New Jersey, where foreclosure activity reached a 40-month high in January, but also some non-judicial states like California, where foreclosure starts jumped 57 percent from a year ago, following 17 consecutive months of annual decreases.”

Foreclosure starts in 22 states bucked the national trend by spiking in January. The biggest increase came in Maryland – where foreclosure starts were up 126% year-over-year -- followed by Connecticut (up 82%), New Jersey (up 79%), California (up 57%) and Pennsylvania (up 39%).

Miami had the highest foreclosure rate among the country’s most populated metropolitan areas, followed by Tampa, Chicago, Baltimore, and Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. Only four metro areas posted annual increases in foreclosure activity. Baltimore’s rate was up 119% from the previous year, followed by New York (up 40%), Washington, D.C. (up 38%) and Philadelphia (up 14%).
 

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