Foreclosures hit lowest post-crisis point in 2013

by Ryan Smith16 Jan 2014
U.S. foreclosure filings last year hit their lowest annual total since before the financial crisis, according to data released today.

According to RealtyTrac’s Year-End 2013 Foreclosure Market Report, there were just under 1.4 million properties with foreclosure filings last year. That’s down 26% from 2012 and 53% from the 2010 peak, which saw 2.9 million properties with foreclosure filings. Last year’s total of under 1.4 million was the lowest since 2007, when there were 1.3 million properties with foreclosure filings, according to RealtyTrac.

According to the report, 1.04% of all U.S. housing units had at least one foreclosure filing in 2013. That’s down from 1.39% in 2012 and a high of 2.23% in 2010.

“Millions of homeowners are still living in the shadow of the massive foreclosure crisis that the country experienced over the past eight years since the housing price bubble burst — both in the form of homes lost to directly to foreclosure as well as home equity lost as a result of a flood of discounted distressed sales,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “But the shadow cast by the foreclosure crisis is shrinking as fewer distressed properties enter foreclosure -- and properties already in foreclosure are poised to exit in greater numbers in 2014 given the greater numbers of scheduled foreclosure auctions in 2013 in judicial states — which account for the bulk of U.S. foreclosure inventory.”

Florida had the highest foreclosure rate in 2013, with 3.01% of all housing units having at least one foreclosure filing. Also among states with high foreclosure rates were Nevada (2.16%), Illinois (1.89%), Maryland (1.57%) and Ohio (1.53%).

Although Ohio has a relatively high foreclosure rate, foreclosed houses aren’t staying on the market long according to one Ohio broker.

“Since the Ohio housing market is still experiencing low inventory availability, we have noticed that foreclosure properties are being bought much faster than usual,” said Michael Mahon, executive vice president and broker at HER Realtors. “The number of days foreclosure inventory spends on the market is at an all-time low, so when these foreclosed properties are released into the market we are seeing multiple offer situations that often drive the price up over the original asking price.”


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