January 2014: Biggest Month-over-month Increase in Foreclosures since May 2012

IRVINE, Calif.—The January 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from RealtyTrac shows an 8 percent increase from December, but is still down 18 percent from January 2013. Foreclosure filings were reported on 124,419 U.S. properties, which breaks down to one in every 1,058 U.S. housing unit having a foreclosure filing during the month. January marks the 40thconsecutive month where U.S. foreclosure activity declined on an annual basis; however, the annual decline of 18 percent is the smallest annual decline since September 2012, and the 8 percent monthly increase is the biggest month-over-month increase since May 2012.

“The monthly increase in January foreclosure activity was somewhat unexpected after a holiday lull, but the sharp annual increases in some states shows that many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

Other findings from the January 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report:

  • A total of 57,259 U.S.  properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in January, up 10 percent from the previous month but still down 12 percent from January 2013.
  • Scheduled foreclosure auctions (which are also foreclosure starts in some states) increase 13 percent in January compared to the previous month but were still down 8 percent from a year ago –the 38th consecutive month where U.S. scheduled foreclosure auctions have decreased annually.
  • There were a total of 30,226 U.S. bank repossessions in January, down 4 percent from the previous month and down 40 percent from January 2013 to the lowest level since July 2007.
  • States with the highest foreclosure rates in January were Florida, Nevada, Maryland, Illinois and New Jersey.
  • Among the nation’s 20 most populated metropolitan statistical areas, the highest foreclosure rates were in Miami, Tampa, Chicago, Baltimore and Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California.

More about the January U.S. Foreclosure Market Report and RealtyTrac can be found here