Foreclosure activity in the United States declined by 1% last month, even though a report from RealtyTrac shows that banks reclaimed more homes in April. In spite of this increase in bank repossessions, fewer auctions are being scheduled.
This latest fall in foreclosure activity includes bank repossessions, scheduled auctions and foreclosure notices and shows figures are now 20% below those seen a year earlier. Last month marked the 43rd consecutive month foreclosure activity declined.
According to the article in aol.com, these figures from RealtyTrac show 115,830 homes were at some stage in the foreclosure process in April. Just before the economic downturn took effect in 2006, figures for foreclosure activity were typically around 85,000 properties per month. In 2010 the number of foreclosures peaked at 2.9 million properties.
Experts are hopeful these figures show foreclosure activity is getting much closer to pre-recession levels. The number of bank repossessions is down 14% compared to a year earlier but was up by 4% in April. This is partly due to government and state interventions slowing down the process of foreclosure. Overall the figures showed that 30,056 homes were repossessed last month. Apparently this increase in the number of bank repossessions in many states is an indication that these markets are now dealing with the final foreclosures due to the recent housing crash.
In Florida, one in every 400 homes is currently facing foreclosure as the state still has the highest rate in the nation. Other states with high rates include Indiana, Delaware and Maryland. Last month 49,239 homes were scheduled for a foreclosure auction, a decrease of 3% compared to a month earlier, and down 21% compared to a year earlier. April marked the 41st consecutive month in which the number of scheduled auctions declined on a year on year basis.
Many of the homes owned by banks are at the bottom end of the market and are quite low quality. In spite of this they will still provide good inventory for the coming months. Just recently the housing market has wobbled slightly due to the cold winter and increases in interest rates, but a recent report on contract signings shows it is recovering.
It's expected that by this time next year the numbers of homes in foreclosure activity will have returned to prerecession levels. However this progression might not be entirely smooth, but real estate experts don't anticipate any factors that could cause foreclosures numbers to rise again.