RealtyTrac has released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for January 2014, which shows foreclosure filings were reported on 124,419 U.S. properties in January an eight percent increase from December but still down 18 percent from January 2013. The report also shows one in every 1,058 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.
January marked the 40th consecutive month where U.S. foreclosure activity declined on an annual basis, but the annual decline of 18 percent was the smallest annual decline since September 2012, and the eight percent monthly increase was the biggest month-over-month increase since May 2012.
“The monthly increase in January foreclosure activity was somewhat expected 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,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “The foreclosure rebound pattern is not only showing up in judicial states like New Jersey, where foreclosure activity reached a 40-month high in January, but also some non-judicial states like California, where foreclosure starts jumped 57 percent from a year ago, following 17 consecutive months of annual decreases.”
High-level findings from the 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 — the 18th consecutive month where foreclosure starts have decreased annually.
►Counter to the national trend, January foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 22 states, including Maryland (up 126 percent), Connecticut (up 82 percent), New Jersey (up 79 percent), California (up 57 percent), and Pennsylvania (up 39 percent).
►Scheduled foreclosure auctions (which are also foreclosure starts in some states) increased 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.
►Counter to the national trend, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased from a year ago in 27 states, including Oregon (up 326 percent), Connecticut (up 223 percent), Maryland (up 113 percent), New York (up 73 percent), and Nevada (up 73 percent).
►Scheduled foreclosure auctions in New York were at the highest monthly level since October 2010 — a 39-month high — and scheduled foreclosure auctions in Nevada were at the highest level since February 2012 — a 23-month high.
►There were a total of 30,226 U.S. bank repossessions (REO) in January, down 4 percent from the previous month and down 40 percent from January 2013 to the lowest level since July 2007 — a 78-month low.
►Counter to the national trend, 12 states posted annual increases in REO activity in January, including New York (up 118 percent), Oklahoma (up 93 percent), Connecticut (up 75 percent), New Jersey (up 26 percent), and Maryland (up 11 percent).
►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. Only four of the 20 largest metro areas posted annual increases in foreclosure activity: Baltimore (up 119 percent), New York (up 40 percent), Washington, D.C. (up 38 percent), and Philadelphia (up 14 percent).