Foreclosures Become a Tougher Find

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2016

Thirty-six percent of U.S. housing markets – or 78 out of 216 metro areas studied -- are now below their pre-recession levels in foreclosures, according to the latest Foreclosure Market Report from RealtyTrac.

Read more'Remarkable Improvement' in Foreclosures

Foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions – were down 8 percent from last year and make up 289,116 U.S. properties.

That marks a nine-year low and the lowest quarterly total since the fourth quarter of 2006, RealtyTrac reports.

“Despite a seasonal bump higher in March, foreclosure activity in most markets continues to trend lower and back toward more healthy, stable levels,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. “More than one-third of the 216 local markets we analyzed were below their pre-recession foreclosure activity averages in the first quarter, and we would expect a growing number of markets to move below that milestone the rest of this year — while the number of markets with a lingering low-grade fever of foreclosure activity continues to shrink.”

Some of the metros seeing large dips in foreclosure filings below pre-recession levels in the first quarter of 2016 included Los Angeles (27 percent below pre-recession average); Dallas (down 65 percent); Houston (down 64 percent); Miami (down 19 percent); and Atlanta (down 57 percent).

However, in some markets, foreclosures remain elevated, including New York (80 percent above the pre-recession average); Chicago (up 17 percent); Philadelphia (up 97 percent); Washington, D.C. metro area (up 134 percent); and Boston (up 46 percent).

Source: RealtyTrac