Foreclosure starts increased for the third month in a row in July, according to industry research group RealtyTrac. The firm reported:
U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for July 2012, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 191,925 U.S. properties in July, a decrease of 3 percent from the previous month and a decrease of 10 percent from July 2011. The report also shows one in every 686 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.
Foreclosure starts — default notices or scheduled foreclosure auctions, depending on the state — were filed on 98,174 U.S. properties in July, a 6 percent decrease from June but still up 6 percent from July 2011.
The states that took the brunt of the damage are the same ones that have suffered the most since the housing market began to collapse in 2007 — California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona.
The same held true for troubled metro areas:
Despite a 17 percent year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity, the Stockton, Calif., metro area posted the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate in July. One in every 153 Stockton housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month, more than four times the national average. Immediately following Stockton in the rankings were the California metro areas of Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 2 (one in every 185 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario at No. 3 (one in every 187 housing units); and Modesto at No. 4 (one in every 195 housing units).
Research In Motion’s Day in Court
… ruled the company had not infringed on Mformation Technologies Inc’s patent and overturned an award of $147.2 million that a jury said the Canadian firm should pay.
RIM lost a jury trial earlier this year on the accusations.
Pressure on Oil Prices
A drop in the supply of oil from the North Sea and the explosion at a Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) refinery in California show just how fragile the crude supply chain is. Each incident pushed oil prices higher, at least for a short time. The refinery accident caused gasoline prices to spike several cents throughout much of the western part of the United States. The two problems are part of a much longer list of factors that could push Brent back toward $110 or $120. Among them still are trouble in the Strait of Hormuz due to sanctions placed on Iran, an unexpected result in the Venezuela presidential election or an unexpected rise in Chinese demand. The notion that oil prices will remain low could be nothing more than a wish.
Douglas A. McIntyre