According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Midyear 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, there were a total of 428,400 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions) in the first six months of 2017, down 20% from the same time period a year ago and down 28% from the same time period two years ago.
However, counter to the national trend, eight states and the District of Columbia posted a year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity in the first half of 2017. Foreclosure activity increased 60% in the District compared to a year ago, while states with an increase included New Jersey (up 2%); Connecticut (up 3%); Louisiana (up 5%); and Mississippi (up 11%).
“With a few local market exceptions, foreclosures have become the unicorns of the housing market: hard to find but highly sought after,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. “More than 38 percent of properties sold at foreclosure auction in the first half of this year went to third-party buyers rather than back to the bank – the highest share we’ve ever seen going back as far as 2000, the earliest this data is available.”
Nationwide, 0.32% of all housing units (one in every 311) had a foreclosure filing in the first half of 2017.
States with the highest foreclosure rates in the first half of 2017 were New Jersey (0.99% of housing units with a foreclosure filing); Delaware (0.73%); Maryland (0.62%); Illinois (0.55%); and Connecticut (0.5%).
A total of 203,875 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in the first six months of 2017, down 20% from a year ago to the lowest six-month total going back to the second half of 2005, the earliest data available.
Lenders foreclosed (REO) on a total of 169,124 U.S. properties in the first six months of 2017, down 14% from a year ago to the lowest six-month total since the second half of 2014.
Among properties lost to foreclosure at public foreclosure auctions in the first half of 2017, 38.3% went to third-party buyers, up from 26.9% in the first half of 2016 to the highest level as far back as data is available, to the first half of 2000. The share of completed foreclosures going to third-party buyers peaked during the previous housing boom, at 22.3% in the first half of 2005.
There were a total of 220,062 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in Q2 2017, down 6 percent from previous quarter and down 22 percent from a year ago to lowest quarterly total since Q2 2006.