ATTOM: Foreclosure Activity at Lowest Levels Since 2008

MBA NewsLink Staff

April 11, 2019

ATTOM Data Solutions, Irvine, Calif., said U.S. foreclosure activity fell by 15 percent in the first quarter to its lowest level since first quarter 2008.

The company's quarterly U.S. Foreclosure Market Report noted 161,875 U.S. properties with a foreclosure filing during the first quarter, down 23 percent from the fourth quarter and down by 15 percent from a year ago.

The report also shows 58,550 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in March, up 7 percent from the previous month but down 21 percent from a year ago, marking the ninth consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in U.S. foreclosure activity.

"While some markets saw a slight uptick in foreclosure filings, that is above pre-recession levels, the majority of the major markets are well below pre-recession levels," said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM. "While we did see a slight increase in U.S. foreclosure starts from last quarter, bank repossessions reached an all-time low in the first quarter of 2019, showing continuing signs of a strong housing market."

The report said 132 of 220 markets (60 percent) with a population greater than 200,000 in the first quarter foreclosure activity below pre-recession averages included San Jose (79 percent below); Memphis (77 percent); Dallas-Fort Worth (77 percent); Las Vegas (74 percent); and Phoenix (68 percent).

However, ATTOM reported in 88 markets (40 percent), first quarter foreclosure activity levels were still above pre-recession averages, including Baltimore (189 percent above); Washington D.C. (26 percent); Philadelphia (20 percent); New York (13 percent); and Hartford (4 percent).

Other report data:

--Lenders started the foreclosure process on 91,397 U.S. properties in the first quarter, up 7 percent from the previous quarter but down 3 percent from a year ago, marking the 15th consecutive quarter with a year-over-year decrease.

--Lenders repossessed 35,787 U.S. properties through foreclosure in the first quarter, down 21 percent from the previous quarter and down 45 percent from a year ago, the 14th consecutive quarter with a year-over-year decrease.

--Nationwide one in every 836 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter. States with the highest foreclosure rates in the first quarter were New Jersey (one in 333 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Delaware (one in 364); Maryland (one in 412); Florida (one in 487); and Illinois (one in 489).

--Metros with the highest foreclosure rates in the first quarter were Atlantic City, N.J. (one in every 177 housing units); Lakeland, Fla. (one in 338); Trenton, N.J. (one in 345); Columbia, S.C. (one in 372); and Philadelphia (one in 373).

--Properties foreclosed in the first quarter had been in the foreclosure process an average of 835 days, up 3 percent from an average 811 days in the fourth quarter and up 5 percent from an average of 791 days a year ago.

--States with the longest average foreclosure timeline for properties foreclosed in the first quarter were Indiana (1,806 days), Hawaii (1,565 days), Arizona (1,385 days), New Jersey (1,212 days) and Florida (1,196 days). States with the shortest average time to foreclose were West Virginia (159 days), Virginia (206 days), Minnesota (251 days), Alaska (262 days) and Wyoming (269 days).

--Nationwide in March one in every 2,312 properties had a foreclosure filing.

--States with the highest foreclosure rates in March were Delaware (one in every 999 housing units); New Jersey (one in every 1,021 housing units); Maryland (one in every 1,077 housing units); Florida (one in every 1,345 housing units); and South Carolina (one in every 1,379 housing units).

--32,280 properties started the foreclosure process in March, up 9 percent from the previous month but down 2 percent from a year ago. March marked the third consecutive month with a month-over-month increase in foreclosure starts.

--Lenders completed the foreclosure process on 12,167 properties in March, up 7 percent from the previous month but down 53 percent from a year ago.

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