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U.S. Foreclosure Activity Reaches Lowest Levels Since 2008

U.S. foreclosure activity was down 15 percent during the first quarter of the year from…

  • May 3, 2019

U.S. foreclosure activity was down 15 percent during the first quarter of the year from a year ago, to the lowest level since Q1 2008, according to property database curator ATTOM Data Solutions.

ATTOM Data Solutions’ just-released Q1 2019 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report shows a total of 161,875 U.S. properties with a foreclosure filing during the first quarter of 2019, down 23 percent from the previous quarter and down 15 percent from 1Q 2018.

The report also shows a total of 58,550 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in March 2019, up 7 percent from the previous month but down 21 percent from a year ago — the ninth consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in U.S. foreclosure activity.

“While some markets saw a slight uptick in foreclosure filings, that is above pre-recession levels, the majority of the major markets are well below pre-recession levels,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “While we did see a slight increase in U.S. foreclosure starts from last quarter, bank repossessions reached an all-time low in the first quarter of 2019, showing continuing signs of a strong housing market.”

Markets below pre-recession levels include San Jose, Memphis, Dallas-Fort Worth

The 132 out of the 220 markets (60 percent) with a population greater than 200,000 in the first quarter foreclosure activity below pre-recession averages included San Jose (79 percent below); Memphis (77 percent below); Dallas-Fort Worth (77 percent below); Las Vegas (74 percent below); and Phoenix (68 percent below).

Other major markets with first quarter foreclosure activity below pre-recession averages were San Francisco, Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California, Chicago, Detroit and Seattle.

Markets still above pre-recession levels include Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia

In 88 out of the 220 markets analyzed (40 percent), first quarter foreclosure activity levels were still above pre-recession averages, including Baltimore (189 percent above); Washington D.C. (26 percent above); Philadelphia (20 percent above); New York (13 percent above); and Hartford (4 percent above).

Other major markets with first quarter foreclosure activity above pre-recession averages included Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Beach, Providence, Rhode Island; and New Orleans.

Foreclosure starts increase 7 percent from last quarter

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 91,397 U.S. properties in Q1 2019, up 7 percent from the previous quarter but down 3 percent from a year ago — the 15th consecutive quarter with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure starts.

Counter to the national trend, 15 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in Q1 2019, including Florida(up 65 percent); Georgia (up 30 percent); Texas (up 27 percent); Louisiana (up 20 percent); Washington (up 12 percent); and Maryland (up 11 percent).

Bank repossessions down in 48 states and DC

Lenders repossessed 35,787 U.S. properties through foreclosure (REO) in Q1 2019, down 21 percent from the previous quarter and down 45 percent from a year ago — the 14th consecutive quarter with a year-over-year decrease in U.S. REOs.

Along with the District of Columbia, 48 states posted year-over-year decreases in REOs in the first quarter, including Arizona (down 77 percent); California (down 41 percent); Florida (down 33 percent); New Jersey (down 59 percent); and Texas (down 43 percent).