Foreclosures Almost Back To Pre-Recession Levels
Apr 24th, 2013 @ 9:07 PM by Amber Nelson
Completed foreclosures fell to their lowest level since the start of the Great Recession, according to foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac, a welcome sign of housing recovery.
Roughly 44,0000 U.S. homes were repossessed in March, a major drop from the peak in September 2010 when lenders seized 100,000 homes.
And total foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank reposessions – fell to 442,117, down 12 percent in the first quarter from the previous one and 23 percent compared with the year before. Filings have not been been lower since the second quarter of 2007, just as the mortgage meltdown was getting started.
“We’re getting back to normal and will be there by next year,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac in a CNN Money article.
RealtyTrac forecasts that total completed foreclosures this year will add up to 550,000 based on the current pace. In 2012 by contrast, there were 671,000 foreclosures.
The majority of foreclosures are still a product of housing boom problems. In December, 75 percent of all homes in foreclosure had mortgages originated between 2003 and 2008, with only 11 percent made before then and 14 percent made after.
Foreclosures have been trending downward for the past few years as credit standards have remained tight, new jobs are slowly being created and banks are allowing more short sales.
There is still some cause for concern however. New foreclosure filings increased for the second month in a row, rising 2 percent in March. In a year-over-year comparison new filings were down 28 percent though. And yet, Blomquist says, “A lot of these won’t end up as vacant bank-owned homes, dragging down the market. These foreclosures are happening in the context of a housing market that’s recovering. They’re not a sign that the housing market is going downhill again.”
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.