Foreclosure Filings Drop to 1.4 Million in 2013

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Foreclosure filings dropped back to 1.4 million on U.S. properties, the lowest level since 2007, which was before the Great Recession began. The figure was down 26% from 2012, and is another clear sign the home market continues to become healthier.

According to RealtyTrac, its:

Year-End 2013 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 1,361,795 U.S. properties in 2013, down 26 percent from 2012.

And, more importantly, the number was:

… down 53 percent from the peak of 2.9 million properties with foreclosure filings in 2010.

While recent data show that the home price and sales recovery improvement has slowed, foreclosures have been a primary cause of the battered housing market, and the news of the sharp drop means the upward trend in price is likely to continue nationwide.

However, there are a number of regions in which the market has only recovered modestly, and in some regions, there has been very little recovery at all. RealtyTrac also reported in its Year-End 2013 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report:

More than 3 percent of Florida housing units (3.01 percent, or one in 33) had at least one foreclosure filing in 2013, the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the year. A total of 269,649 Florida properties had a foreclosure filing during the year, a 3 percent decrease from 2012 but still up 48 percent from 2011. Florida foreclosure activity in 2013 was down 48 percent from the peak of 516,711 Florida properties with foreclosure filings in 2009.

With 2.16 percent of housing units (one in 46) with a foreclosure filing in 2013, Nevada posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate for the year despite a 21 percent decrease in foreclosure activity compared to 2012. A total of 25,058 Nevada housing units had a foreclosure filing during the year, down 78 percent from a peak of 112,097 properties with foreclosure filings in 2009.

A total of 99,666 Illinois properties had at least one foreclosure filing in 2013, down 27 percent from 2012 but still enough to give the state the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate: 1.89 percent of housing units (one in 53) with a foreclosure filing.

Maryland foreclosure activity in 2013 increased 117 percent from 2012 — one of only 10 states where total foreclosure activity increased from 2012 to 2013 — boosting the state’s foreclosure rate to fourth highest for the year. A total of 37,186 Maryland properties had a foreclosure filing in 2013, 1.57 percent of all housing units (one in every 64). Maryland foreclosure activity in 2013 was still down 14 percent from the peak of 43,248 properties with foreclosure filings in 2009.

Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation’s 10 highest in 2013 were Ohio (1.53 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing), Georgia (1.40 percent), Connecticut (1.36 percent), South Carolina (1.36 percent), Arizona (1.25 percent), and Delaware (1.23 percent).

For the most part, especially in the cases of Nevada and Florida, these are the states where home prices dropped catastrophically. And the prices of homes in those states may never recover entirely at all.

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