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U.S. foreclosure activity decreases to lowest levels since Q1 2008

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Christian Fernsby |
foreclosure
America   The ninth consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in U.S. foreclosure

A total of 161,875 U.S. properties with a foreclosure filing during the first quarter of 2019.

That is down 23 percent from the previous quarter and down 15 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since Q1 2008.

ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q1 2019 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The report also shows a total of 58,550 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in March 2019, up 7 percent from the previous month but down 21 percent from a year ago, the ninth consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in U.S. foreclosure activity.

The 132 out of the 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 below); Dallas-Fort Worth (77 percent below); Las Vegas (74 percent below); and Phoenix (68 percent below).

Other major markets with first quarter foreclosure activity below pre-recession averages were San Francisco, Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California, Chicago, Detroit and Seattle.

In 88 out of the 220 markets analyzed (40 percent), first quarter foreclosure activity levels were still above pre-recession averages, including Baltimore (189 percent above); Washington D.C. (26 percent above); Philadelphia (20 percent above); New York (13 percent above); and Hartford (4 percent above).

Other major markets with first quarter foreclosure activity above pre-recession averages included Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Beach, Providence, Rhode Island; and New Orleans.

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 91,397 U.S. properties in Q1 2019, up 7 percent from the previous quarter but down 3 percent from a year ago — the 15th consecutive quarter with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure starts.

Counter to the national trend, 15 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in Q1 2019, including Florida (up 65 percent); Georgia (up 30 percent); Texas (up 27 percent); Louisiana (up 20 percent); Washington (up 12 percent); and Maryland (up 11 percent).

Lenders repossessed 35,787 U.S. properties through foreclosure (REO) in Q1 2019, 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 in U.S. REOs.

Along with the District of Columbia, 48 states posted year-over-year decreases in REOs in the first quarter, including Arizona (down 77 percent); California (down 41 percent); Florida (down 33 percent); New Jersey (down 59 percent); and Texas (down 43 percent).

Nationwide one in every 836 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter of 2019. 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).

Among 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in Q1 2019 were Atlantic City, New Jersey (one in every 177 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Lakeland, Florida (one in 338); Trenton, New Jersey (one in 345); Columbia, South Carolina (one in 372); and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (one in 373).

Along with Philadelphia, other major metros with a population of at least 1 million and foreclosure rates in the top 25 highest nationwide included Jacksonville, Florida at No. 7, Baltimore at No.9, Cleveland at No. 13, Chicago at No. 14, Tampa at No. 17, Miami at No. 18, and Orlando at No. 21.

Properties foreclosed in the first quarter of 2019 had been in the foreclosure process an average of 835 days, up 3 percent from an average 811 days for properties foreclosed in the fourth quarter of 2018 and up 5 percent from an average of 791 days for properties foreclosed in the first quarter of 2018.

States with the longest average foreclosure timeline for properties foreclosed in Q1 2019 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 in Q1 2019 were West Virginia (159 days), Virginia (206 days), Minnesota (251 days), Alaska (262 days), and Wyoming (269 days).


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