Chicago foreclosures drop sharply as US activity ticks up

RealtyTrac has just released its July 2013 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The report shows foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 130,888 U.S. properties in July, an increase of 2 percent from the 78-month low in June but still down 32 percent from July 2012. The report also shows one in every 1,001 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

The number of Chicago properties with foreclosure filings decreased 26.89% month-over-month and 44.22% year-over-year.

High-level findings from the report

The monthly increase in U.S. foreclosure activity was driven by a 6 percent monthly increase in foreclosure starts and a 4 percent monthly increase in bank repossessions (REO), although both metrics decreased from a year ago.

Foreclosure starts increased from the previous month in 26 states and were up from a year ago in 15 states, including Maryland (up 275 percent), Oregon (up 137 percent), New Jersey (up 89 percent), Connecticut (up 37 percent), and New York (up 27 percent).

Bank repossessions increased from the previous month in 29 states and were up from a year ago in 18 states, including Arkansas (up 266 percent), Oklahoma (up 126 percent), Maryland (up 101 percent), New York (up 100 percent), Connecticut (up 67 percent), New Jersey (up 40 percent), and Ohio (up 20 percent).

The top six state foreclosure rates in July were in states with a judicial foreclosure process, although two of those top six states posted decreasing foreclosure activity from a year ago: Ohio (down 18 percent) and Illinois (down 44 percent).

Arizona’s foreclosure rate dropped out of the top 10 highest for the first time since February 2007, joining California’s foreclosure rate, which was out of the top 10 for the sixth consecutive month in July, and Michigan’s foreclosure rate, which was out of the top 10 for the fifth consecutive month in July.

Nine of the nation’s 10 highest metro foreclosure rates in July were in Florida cities, and five of those nine Florida cities posted increasing foreclosure activity from a year ago.

Among the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas, 10 posted increasing foreclosure activity from the previous month and five posted increasing foreclosure activity from a year ago: Baltimore (up 182 percent), Miami (up 58 percent), New York (up 42 percent), Philadelphia (up 11 percent), and Washington, D.C. (up 5 percent).

“While foreclosures are continuing to boil over in a select group of markets where state legislation and court rulings kept a lid on foreclosure activity during the worst of the housing crisis, the foreclosure boil-over markets are becoming fewer and farther between as lenders have caught up with the backlog of delayed foreclosures in some of the states with the more lengthy judicial foreclosure process,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “For example, Illinois foreclosure activity has now decreased on a year-over-year basis for eight consecutive months following 11 straight months of annual increases, and Ohio has seen three consecutive months with annual decreases following eight straight months with annual increases.

“U.S. foreclosure activity in July is 64 percent below the peak of more than 367,000 properties with foreclosure filings in March 2010, but is still 54 percent above the historical average of 85,000 properties with foreclosure filings per month before the housing bubble burst in late 2006,” Blomquist continued. “There are a dozen states, however, where foreclosure activity levels in July were at or below average monthly levels prior to the bubble bursting. Those states include Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Indiana and Michigan, and we expect the number of states in this category to increase in the coming months.”

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