A total of 82,972 properties were in some stage of the foreclosure process, whether in default, scheduled for auction or repossessed, in September – down 13% from August and down 24% from September 2015, to reach the lowest level since December 2005, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, parent company of RealtyTrac.
A total of 293,190 properties were in some stage of foreclosure during the third quarter – an increase of 4% compared with the second quarter but a decrease of 10% from the third quarter of 2015, according to the data and analytics firm.
It was the fourth consecutive quarter that foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis.
“Foreclosure activity has been on a steady slide downward over the past six years, finally dropping back below pre-crisis levels in September,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, in a release. “While we’ve known that the national foreclosure problem has been dying a long, slow death for quite some time, the final nail in the coffin of the foreclosure crisis is the year-over-year decrease in the average foreclosure timeline nationwide that we saw in [the third quarter] – the first time that’s happened since we began tracking foreclosure timelines in [the first quarter of] 2007.”
A total of 34,685 properties started the foreclosure process in September – a decrease of 13% from the previous month and a decrease of 20% from a year earlier to reach the lowest level since May 2005.
However, 18 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in September, including Arkansas (up 156%); Delaware (up 115%); Maryland (up 87%); Utah (up 63%); and Oklahoma (up 47%).
A total of 27,514 properties were repossessed by lenders in September – a decrease of 12% compared with August and a decrease of 32% compared with September 2015.
The report also includes data on foreclosure timelines. It shows that the average time to foreclose in September decreased for the first time in report history.
“The decrease in the average foreclosure timeline indicates that banks have worked through the bulk of the legacy foreclosure backlog in most states – with a few lingering exceptions – and that most of the foreclosures being completed now are relatively recent defaults that are more efficiently progressing through the foreclosure pipeline,” Blomquist adds.