Foreclosure filings down 20% in first half of 2016

by Ryan Smith18 Jul 2016
Foreclosure filings dropped 20% in the first six months of 2016, according to new data from RealtyTrac.

RealtyTrac’s Midyear 2016 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report found that foreclosure activity – default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions – dropped 20% from the previous six months, and were down 11% from the first six months of 2015. However, 19 states countered that trend, posting year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity. Massachusetts topped that list, with foreclosure activity up 48% year over year.

Five of the nation’s most-populated metro areas also posted year-over-year increases: Boston (up 38%), Philadelphia (up 7%), New York (up 4%), Washington, D.C. (up 3%) and Baltimore (up 1%).

“Although there are some local outliers, the downward foreclosure trend continued in the first half of 2016 in most markets nationwide,” said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac senior vice president. “While U.S. foreclosure activity is still above its pre-recession levels, many of the states hit hardest by the housing crisis have now dropped below pre-recession foreclosure activity levels. With some exceptions, states with foreclosure activity continuing to run above pre-recession levels tend to be those with protracted foreclosure timelines still working through legacy distress from the last housing bust.”

A total of 280,989 U.S. properties had foreclosure filings in the second quarter – the lowest level since Q4 of 2006, according to RealtyTrac. That’s also down 3% from the first quarter and 18% from a year ago. While foreclosure activity nationwide was still 21% above pre-recession levels, 15 states have seen foreclosure activity fall below those levels. Arizona leads the way, with foreclosure activity 13% below pre-recession averages.


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