Foreclosure filings were reported on 191,925 U.S. properties in July, a decrease of 3% from the previous month and a 10% drop from July 2011, according to new data from Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac. Overall foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis for the 22nd consecutive month in July, dropping to its lowest level since April.
RealtyTrac determines that one in every 686 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing during July. California posted the nation's highest state foreclosure rate in July, despite an 11% decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month and a 25% decrease in foreclosure activity from July 2011. One in every 325 California housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month – more than twice the national average.
The decline in overall foreclosure activity was driven primarily by a 21% year-over-year decrease in real estate owned (REO) property. Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia posted annual decreases in REO activity.
However, U.S. foreclosure starts in July increased 6% on a year-over-year basis, the third straight month with an annual increase in foreclosure starts, following 27 consecutive months of decreasing foreclosure starts on an annual basis. Foreclosure starts increased on a year-over-year basis in 27 states, led by Connecticut (201%), New Jersey (164%), Pennsylvania (139%), Indiana (83%) and Massachusetts (65%) – which, RealtyTrac notes, are all judicial foreclosure states.
‘Recent foreclosure activity patterns vary significantly from state to state, often hinging on the level of dysfunction that exists in each state's foreclosure process,’ says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. ‘In states like Florida, Illinois and New Jersey, where processing and procedural issues slowed foreclosure activity to a crawl last year, foreclosure numbers continue to rebound off those artificially low levels. But in states like Texas, Arizona and Virginia, where the average time to foreclose is well below the national average of 378 days, foreclosure activity continues on a long-term downward trend.’