Foreclosure rate slows for fourth month

IRVINE, Calif. – Dec. 10, 2009 – RealtyTrac today released its November 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 306,627 U.S. properties during the month, a decrease of nearly 8 percent from the previous month but still up 18 percent from November 2008. The report also shows one in every 417 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in November.

“November was the fourth straight month that U.S. foreclosure activity has declined after hitting an all-time high for our report in July, and November foreclosure activity was at the lowest level we’ve seen since February,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Loan modifications and other foreclosure prevention efforts, along with the recently extended and expanded homebuyer tax credit, are keeping a lid on the most visible symptoms of the nation’s ailing housing market — foreclosures and home value depreciation. This is providing a welcome respite for the real estate industry, but a full recovery will only come when unemployment recedes to normal, healthy levels and when availability of credit reaches a more rational balance between the extremes of the past few years.”

Default notices nationwide were down 8 percent from the previous month but still up 22 percent from November 2008, scheduled foreclosure auctions were down 12 percent from the previous month but still up 32 percent from November 2008, and bank repossessions were flat from the previous month and down 2 percent from November 2008.

Nevada, Florida, California post top state foreclosure rates
Nevada foreclosure activity decreased by a double-digit percentage for the second straight month, but the state continued to document the nation’s top foreclosure rate with one in every 119 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in November — 3.5 times the national average. A total of 9,295 Nevada properties received a foreclosure filing during the month, a 33 percent decrease from the previous month and also a 33 percent decrease from November 2008. Nevada’s November total was 52 percent below its July total of 19,535 properties with foreclosure filings.

Florida posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in November with one in every 165 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Florida took the No. 2 spot from California, which posted the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate — one in every 180 housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

After three straight months of decreases, Arizona foreclosure activity increased nearly 8 percent in November and the state documented the nation’s fourth highest foreclosure rate with one in every 186 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Despite a nearly 2 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month, Idaho posted the fifth highest state foreclosure rate in November with one in every 259 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were Michigan, Illinois, Utah, Maryland, and New Jersey.

Four states account for more than 50 percent of national total
For the second month in a row, the same four states accounted for 52 percent of the nation’s total foreclosure activity: California, Florida, Illinois and Michigan.

Despite a 13 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month, California continued to post the highest total of any state with 73,995 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in November — still up 22 percent from November 2008 but down nearly 32 percent from its July peak of 108,104. November marked the fourth straight month that California foreclosure activity has declined on a month-over-month basis.

After two straight month-over-month decreases, Florida foreclosure activity increased slightly in November. A total of 52,935 Florida properties received foreclosure filings during the month, an increase of nearly 2 percent from the previous month and up nearly 8 percent from November 2008.

Illinois foreclosure activity decreased nearly 18 percent from a record high in October, but the state’s 16,422 properties receiving foreclosure filings in November was still nearly 108 percent higher than November 2008 and third highest among all the states.

A total of 15,988 Michigan properties received foreclosure filings in November, a decrease of nearly 3 percent from the previous month but still nearly 10 percent above the state’s total in November 2008.

Other states with totals among the 10 highest in the country were Arizona (14,349), Texas (12,095), Ohio (10,587), Georgia (9,664), Nevada (9,295) and New Jersey (9,227).

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