Last year saw 2.3 million foreclosure filings on 1.8 million U.S. properties, down 3% from 2011 and down 36% from the 2010 peak of 2.9 million, according to new data from Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.
During 2012, 1.39% of U.S. housing units – one in every 72 – had at least one foreclosure filing during the year, down from 1.45% of housing units in 2011 and down from 2.23% of housing units in 2010.
RealtyTrac reports that foreclosure activity in 2012 increased from 2011 in 25 states – 20 of which primarily use the longer judicial foreclosure process – while foreclosure activity was down in 25 states – 19 of which primarily use the more streamlined non-judicial foreclosure process. Florida posted the nation's highest state foreclosure rate in 2012, with 3.11% of housing units – one in 32 – receiving a foreclosure filing during the year.
For December 2012, foreclosure activity dropped 10% from the previous month to the lowest level since April 2007, a 68-month low, and fourth-quarter foreclosure activity was at the lowest quarterly level since the third quarter of 2007 despite a 9% quarterly increase in bank repossessions.