Decline in Foreclosures Reaches ‘Important Milestone’
Foreclosure activity in June was down 16 percent from a year prior, marking the lowest level since July 2006 — before the housing bubble burst — according to RealtyTrac’s Midyear 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The report showed a much-improved picture: Foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions, were down 19 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the previous six months and 23 percent from year-ago levels.
Ten states in June reached their lowest level of foreclosures since 2006, including Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee, Arizona, and Nevada.
“Nationwide foreclosure activity in June reached an important milestone, dropping to levels not seen since before the housing-price bubble burst in August 2006,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Over the next six to nine months, nationwide foreclosure numbers should start to flatline at consistent historically normal levels.”
Not all states are out of the woods yet. For example, nine states saw foreclosure activity rise during the first half of 2014 compared to a year ago, such as New Jersey (up 54%); Maryland (up 18%); Iowa (up 10%); Massachusetts (up 4%); and Connecticut (up 4%). The states with the highest foreclosure rates in the first half of 2014 remained Florida, Maryland, Illinois, New Jersey, and Nevada, according to the report.
“While it’s important that any remaining foreclosure infection is addressed promptly to keep it from festering, foreclosures are no longer a widespread contagion threatening to derail the housing market’s return to full health,” Blomquist says.
The metros with some of the largest decreases in foreclosure activity in the first half of 2014 compared to a year ago included Chicago (down 30%); Miami (down 30%); Houston (down 29%); Dallas (down 28%); and Los Angeles (down 20%).