A total of 45,072 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in August – down 1% from July and down 19% from one year ago to reach the lowest level since November 2005, according to RealtyTrac's August 2015 Foreclosure Market Report.
The report says that so far this year, foreclosure starts averaged 49,362 per month, which is below the pre-crisis average of 52,279 per month in 2005 and 2006.
What's more, there were 36,792 bank repossessions in August – down 22% from July but up a significant 40% from August 2014. RealtyTrac points out that bank repossessions in August were well above their pre-crisis average of 23,119 per month in 2005 and 2006.
This year-over-year increase in repossessions combined with the decrease in new foreclosure starts suggests that the banks are simply clearing out their foreclosure inventory and that the number of foreclosures is not on the rise.
In terms of overall foreclosure activity, RealtyTrac says that foreclosure filings, including default notices, repossessions and scheduled auctions, were reported on 109,561 properties in August – a decrease of 12% from the previous month and a decrease of 6% from one year ago.
To read the full report, click here.