Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

U.S. Foreclosure Activity Decreases 10 Percent in February From January Jump to Lowest Level in More Than 7 Years

Foreclosure Starts Drop to 8-Year Low But Auctions Still Up Annually in 19 States; Owner Vacated "Zombie" Properties Account for 21 Percent of All Active Foreclosures

IRVINE, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/13/14 -- RealtyTrac® (, the nation's leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for February 2014, which shows foreclosure filings -- default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- were reported on 112,498 U.S. properties in February, a 10 percent decrease from January and down 27 percent from February 2013 to the lowest monthly total since December 2006 -- a more than seven-year low.

RealtyTrac also included updated information on the number of owner-vacated properties in the foreclosure process as part of the report. As of the first quarter of 2014, a total of 152,033 U.S. properties in the foreclosure process (excluding bank-owned properties) had been vacated by the distressed homeowner, representing 21 percent of all properties in the foreclosure process. These owner-vacated foreclosures -- sometimes called zombie foreclosures -- had been in the foreclosure process an average of 1,031 days.

"Cold weather and a short month certainly contributed to a seasonal drop in foreclosure activity in February, but the reality is that new activity is no longer the biggest threat to the housing market when it comes to foreclosures," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "The biggest threat from foreclosures going forward is properties that have been lingering in the foreclosure process for years, many of them vacant with neither the distressed homeowner or the foreclosing lender taking responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of the home -- or at the very least facilitating a sale to a new homeowner more likely to perform needed upkeep and maintenance.

"One in every five homes in the foreclosure process nationwide have been vacated by the distressed homeowner, but it is closer to one in three foreclosures in some cities," Blomquist added. "These properties drag down home values in the surrounding neighborhood and contribute to a climate of uncertainty and low inventory in local housing markets."

High-level findings from the report:

  • Owner-vacated foreclosures nationwide were flat compared to the last time RealtyTrac analyzed these properties, in the third quarter of 2013, but some states saw substantial increases, including Michigan (27 percent increase from September 2013), New Jersey (24 percent increase) and Nevada (21 percent increase).

  • States with the most owner-vacated foreclosures were Florida with 54,908 (36 percent of the national total, Illinois (15,512), New York (10,880), New Jersey (8,595), and Ohio (7,780).

  • States with the longest average time in foreclosure for owner-vacated foreclosures included Arkansas (1,128 days), Hawaii (1,112 days), Florida (1,095 days), Nevada (1,055 days), and New York (1,037 days).

  • After a 10 percent month-over-month jump in January, U.S. foreclosure starts retreated to their lowest level since December 2005 -- a 98-month low. A total of 51,842 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in February, down 9 percent from the previous month and down 27 percent from a year ago.

  • Counter to the national trend, February foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 14 states, including New Jersey where foreclosure starts increased 126 percent from a year ago, boosting the state's foreclosure rate to fourth highest in the nation -- its highest foreclosure rate ranking since October 2005.

  • A total of 47,715 U.S. properties were scheduled for a future foreclosure auction (in some states this is the foreclosure start) in February, down 15 percent from the previous month and down 21 percent from a year ago.

  • Counter to the national trend, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased from a year ago in 19 states, including Oregon (up 389 percent), Utah (up 145 percent), Connecticut (up 141 percent), New Jersey (up 70 percent), and Maryland (up 36 percent).

  • There were a total of 30,307 U.S. bank repossessions (REO) in February, up less than 1 percent from January but still down 33 percent from February 2013.

  • Counter to the national trend, 15 states reported year-over-year increases in bank repossessions in February, including Connecticut (up 162 percent), New York (up 108 percent), Maryland (up 98 percent), New Jersey (up 90 percent), and Oregon (up 70 percent).

  • States with the highest foreclosure rates in February were Florida, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey and Illinois.

  • Nine of the top 10 metro foreclosure rates in February were posted by cities in Florida, along with Atlantic City, N.J., where overall foreclosure activity increased 254 percent from a year ago.

  • Among the nation's 20 most populated metro areas, the highest foreclosure rates were in Tampa, Miami, Baltimore, Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California, and Chicago. Only four of the 20 largest metro areas posted annual increases in foreclosure activity: New York (up 77 percent), Philadelphia (up 20 percent), Washington, D.C. (up 19 percent), and Baltimore (up 14 percent).

Local broker quotes
"Short sales and foreclosures used to account for about 85 percent of the Reno, NV market while home equity accounted for just 15 percent," said Craig King, COO of Chase International, covering the Reno and Lake Tahoe, Nev. markets. "Now those numbers have flipped and we are seeing an increase in home equity and a decrease in the number of total foreclosures."

"Distressed properties will continue to be present in our market because there are still a number of people who are upside down on their mortgages, but the housing market is definitely picking up and looking much stronger," added King.

"Approximately 8 percent of mortgages in the Utah market were considered underwater, and the number of homes currently in foreclosure represents 1.5 percent of mortgages statewide, which is slightly higher than our historical average of 1 percent," said Steve Roney, CEO of Prudential Utah Real Estate, covering the Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah markets. "But once again, Utah's strong economic outlook, robust job growth and an unemployment rate hovering near 4 percent set a strong foundation for continued real estate expansion."

"REO inventory in the Oklahoma housing market is at its lowest level in seven years," said Sheldon Detrick, CEO of Prudential Detrick/Alliance Realty, covering the Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla. markets. "Buyer velocity is as strong as ever, and the continuously low inventory levels are leading to multiple, high-paying offers for these types of properties."

"The Denver market is certainly normalizing based on the large drop of distressed properties over the past year. The worst of the foreclosure crisis is thankfully behind us, however it's not entirely over as we saw a surge in foreclosure activity early this year, and we predict there may be another month of higher foreclosure activity this summer," said Chad Ochsner, owner/broker of RE/MAX Alliance, covering the Denver, Colo. market. "We are not quite back to pre-recession levels, but Denver remains very healthy and is quickly returning to normal."

Florida, Maryland, Nevada post top state foreclosure rates
After jumping 19 percent on a month-over-month basis in January Florida foreclosure activity dropped 7 percent from January to February and was down 24 percent on a year-over-year basis -- the seventh consecutive month with an annual decrease. Despite the decrease, Florida still posted the nation's top foreclosure rate, with one in every 372 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month -- more than three times the national average.

Florida foreclosure starts decreased annually for the 12th consecutive month, and Florida bank repossessions decreased annually for the sixth consecutive month. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in Florida decreased 2 percent annually in February after 13 consecutive months of annual increases.

Maryland foreclosure activity increased annually for the 20th consecutive month in February, helping it post the nation's second highest state foreclosure rate -- one in every 557 housing units with a foreclosure filing. On a year-over-year basis, Maryland foreclosure starts increased 15 percent, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased 36 percent, and bank repossessions increased 98 percent.

Nevada foreclosure activity in February decreased 16 percent from January and was down 49 percent from February 2013, but the state still posted the nation's third highest foreclosure rate -- one in every 633 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

New Jersey foreclosure activity increased 108 percent annually in February, and the state posted the nation's fourth highest state foreclosure rate -- one in every 739 housing units with a foreclosure filing. The No. 4 ranking was the highest ranking for New Jersey since October 2005.

Illinois foreclosure activity decreased 48 percent annually in February -- the 15th consecutive month with an annual decrease -- but the state still posted the nation's fifth highest foreclosure rate: one in every 811 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation's 10 highest in February were Connecticut (one in every 898 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Ohio (one in every 941 housing units), South Carolina (one in every 971 housing units), Georgia (one in every 1,011 housing units), and Wisconsin (one in every 1,011 housing units).

Metro foreclosure rates and activity
Nine of the top 10 foreclosure rates in February among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more were in Florida, led by Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville with one in every 296 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month -- nearly four times the national average.

Other Florida metros in the top 10 were Tampa at No. 2 (one in every 318 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Jacksonville at No. 3 (one in every 319 housing units); Miami at No. 4 (one in every 328 housing units); Port St. Lucie at No. 5 (one in every 361 housing units); Orlando at No. 6 (one in every 370 housing units); Ocala at No. 8 (one in every 404 housing units); Tallahassee at No. 9 (one in every 407 housing units); and Lakeland (one in every 410 housing units).

Foreclosure activity in Atlantic City, N.J., increased 254 percent on a year-over-year basis -- the third consecutive month with a triple-digit percentage annual increase -- and the city posted the nation's seventh highest metro foreclosure rate: one in every 398 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

Report methodology
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the month -- broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded in previous months. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac's report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default -- Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction -- Notice of Trustee's Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). The report does not count a property again if it receives the same type of foreclosure filing multiple times within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located.

Click here for more information about RealtyTrac resources and to view state and metro level charts.

Report License
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

Data Licensing and Custom Report Order
Investors, businesses and government institutions can contact RealtyTrac to license bulk foreclosure and neighborhood data or purchase customized reports. For more information please contact our Data Licensing Department at 800.462.5193 or [email protected].

About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac ( is the nation's leading source of comprehensive housing data, with more than 1.5 million active default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties, and more than 1 million active for-sale listings on its website, which also provides essential housing information for more than 100 million homes nationwide. This information includes property characteristics, tax assessor records, bankruptcy status and sales history, along with 20 categories of key housing-related facts provided by RealtyTrac's wholly-owned subsidiary, Homefacts®. RealtyTrac's foreclosure reports and other housing data are relied on by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.

Image Available:

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
The enterprise is being consumerized, and the consumer is being enterprised. Moore's Law does not matter anymore, the future belongs to business virtualization powered by invisible service architecture, powered by hyperscale and hyperconvergence, and facilitated by vertical streaming and horizontal scaling and consolidation. Both buyers and sellers want instant results, and from paperwork to paperless to mindless is the ultimate goal for any seamless transaction. The sweetest sweet spot in innov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Key Information Systems, Inc. (KeyInfo), a leading cloud and infrastructure provider offering integrated solutions to enterprises, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Key Information Systems is a leading regional systems integrator with world-class compute, storage and networking solutions and professional services for the most advanced softwa...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The modern software development landscape consists of best practices and tools that allow teams to deliver software in a near-continuous manner. By adopting a culture of automation, measurement and sharing, the time to ship code has been greatly reduced, allowing for shorter release cycles and quicker feedback from customers and users. Still, with all of these tools and methods, how can teams stay on top of what is taking place across their infrastructure and codebase? Hopping between services a...
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
DevOps and Continuous Delivery software provider XebiaLabs has announced it has been selected to join the Amazon Web Services (AWS) DevOps Competency partner program. The program is designed to highlight software vendors like XebiaLabs who have demonstrated technical expertise and proven customer success in DevOps and specialized solution areas like Continuous Delivery. DevOps Competency Partners provide solutions to, or have deep experience working with AWS users and other businesses to help t...
Enterprises can achieve rigorous IT security as well as improved DevOps practices and Cloud economics by taking a new, cloud-native approach to application delivery. Because the attack surface for cloud applications is dramatically different than for highly controlled data centers, a disciplined and multi-layered approach that spans all of your processes, staff, vendors and technologies is required. This may sound expensive and time consuming to achieve as you plan how to move selected applicati...
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, foc...
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
Data loss happens, even in the cloud. In fact, if your company has adopted a cloud application in the past three years, data loss has probably happened, whether you know it or not. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bryan Forrester, Senior Vice President of Sales at eFolder, will present how common and costly cloud application data loss is and what measures you can take to protect your organization from data loss.
The cloud has reached mainstream IT. Those 18.7 million data centers out there (server closets to corporate data centers to colocation deployments) are moving to the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Achim Weiss, CEO & co-founder of ProfitBricks, will share how two companies – one in the U.S. and one in Germany – are achieving their goals with cloud infrastructure. More than a case study, he will share the details of how they prioritized their cloud computing infrastructure deployments ...
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete en...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, will provide an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet condit...