While year-over-year foreclosure activity continued to decline in August, an uptick in foreclosure auctions suggest the housing market still is in detox mode, according to RealtyTrac.
RealtyTrac’s August 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report shows foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, fell 9% from a year earlier, to nearly 117,000.
Data also show the number of properties scheduled for foreclosure auction was roughly 51,200, up 1% from a year earlier, marking the first increase after 44 consecutive months of annual decreases. The uptick was driven by a 5% increase in judicial states where foreclosures are processed through the court system, according to the report.
Scheduled foreclosure auctions increased in 24 states, and compared to a year earlier were up 160% in Colorado, 117% in Oregon, and 81% in Connecticut and New York.
In addition, foreclosure starts, which in some states are the scheduled auctions, according to RealtyTrac, increased in 19 states, including by 147% in Oklahoma, 136% in Indiana and 115% in New Jersey.
These increases are the first since the robo-signing controversy rocked the foreclosure industry back in late 2010, indicating mortgage servicers are finally adjusting to the new foreclosure market reality caused by legislation, litigation or both, Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a press release. In other words, “the messy business of cleaning up the distress lingering from the housing bust continues in many markets,” he said.
In August the number of real estate owned, or lender-repossessed foreclosures, fell 33% compared to a year earlier. Florida, Nevada, Maryland, New Jersey and Georgia posted the highest foreclosure rates.
In Florida foreclosure processing started on nearly 6,500 properties, up 24% from a year earlier, the first year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts after 17 consecutive months of year-over-year decreases; and 74% higher than in July. As a result Florida remains the nation’s top foreclosure state for 11 consecutive months.
August highlights include a significant increase in REO activity in Georgia, up 146% year-over-year to the highest level since August 2012, boosting the state’s foreclosure rate to fifth highest nationwide in August, from the 12th highest in July.