Foreclosures Tumble 26% in 2013, Says RealtyTrac

Migrant mother from Dust Bowl eraForeclosure activity is falling through the floor — at least relatively speaking. The latest figures from www.realtytrac.com show that 2013 foreclosures fell 26 percent when compared with 2012. The bad news? The wealth gap continues: Nearly 1.4 million properties faced foreclosure notices, a still-huge number given that there are roughly 50 million mortgaged homes in the US.

“Millions of homeowners are still living in the shadow of the massive foreclosure crisis that the country experienced over the past eight years since the housing price bubble burst — both in the form of homes lost to directly to foreclosure as well as home equity lost as a result of a flood of discounted distressed sales,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

“But the shadow cast by the foreclosure crisis is shrinking as fewer distressed properties enter foreclosure and properties already in foreclosure are poised to exit in greater numbers in 2014 given the greater numbers of scheduled foreclosure auctions in 2013 in judicial states — which account for the bulk of U.S. foreclosure inventory.


“The push to schedule these auctions is certainly coming at an opportune time for the foreclosing lenders,” Blomquist added. “There is unprecedented demand from institutional investors willing to pay with cash to buy at the foreclosure auction, helping to raise the value of properties with a foreclosure filing in 2013 by an average of 10 percent nationwide.”

Annual U.S. Foreclosure Filings
Year Foreclosure Filings Annual Change
2013 1,361,795 down 25.85 percent
2012 2,304,941 down 14.59 percent
2011 2,698,967 down 29.45 percent
2010 3,825,637 down 3.33 percent
2009 3,957,643 up 25.33 percent
2008 3,157,806 up 43.32 percent
2007 2,203,295 up 74.99 percent
2006 1,259,118 up 42.20 percent
2005 885,468 n.a.
Source: RealtyTrac.com
Chart Copyright 2014 OurBroker.com

In looking at 2013, RealtyTrac found:

  • States with the highest foreclosure rates in 2013 were Florida (3.01 percent of all housing units with a foreclosure filing), Nevada (2.16 percent), Illinois (1.89 percent), Maryland (1.57 percent), and Ohio (1.53 percent).
  • Total foreclosure activity in 2013 increased in 10 states in 2013 compared to 2012, including Maryland (up 117 percent), New Jersey (up 44 percent), New York (up 34 percent), Connecticut (up 20 percent), Washington (up 13 percent), and Pennsylvania (up 13 percent).
  • Scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions (NFS) increased 13 percent in 2013 compared to 2012 to the highest level since 2010. NFS were the only foreclosure document type among the five tracked by RealtyTrac to post an increase nationwide in 2013 compared to 2012.
  • States with big increases in scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions included Maryland (up 107 percent), New Jersey (64 percent), Connecticut (up 55 percent), Florida (up 53 percent), Pennsylvania (up 24 percent), and New York (up 15 percent).
  • The average estimated value of a property receiving a foreclosure filing in 2013 was $191,693 at the time of the foreclosure filing, up 1 percent from the average value in 2012, and the average estimated market value of properties that received foreclosure filings in 2013 has increased 10 percent since the foreclosure notice was filed.
  •  The average time to complete a foreclosure nationwide in the fourth quarter increased 3 percent from the previous quarter to a record-high 564 days. States with the longest time to foreclose were New York (1,029 days), New Jersey (999 days) and Florida (944 days).
  • Including the 2013 numbers, over the past eight years 10.9 million U.S. properties have started the foreclosure process and 5.6 million have been repossessed by lenders through foreclosure.

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