The number of completed foreclosures rose 4% month-to-month, but Attom says the “housing market remains in flux” – they could go back up or keep dropping.
IRVINE, Calif. – Foreclosure activity rose following pandemic-era bans but never completely returned to a level seen before COVID-19 shook the market.
Now foreclosures seem to be falling again, at least based on a single month, according to Attom’s July 2023 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. While completed foreclosures – the point where the lender takes back the home – rose a bit, foreclosure starts – the point where a lenders begins action against a homeowner who has fallen behind – fell in July.
The U.S. had a total of 31,877 U.S. properties with July foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions – down 9% month-to-month but up 5% year-to-year.
Attom only noted one Florida city in its latest report. In the list of foreclosures in metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million, Jacksonville ranked No. 4 with one foreclosure for every 2,243 housing units. The top three U.S. cities are Cleveland, Ohio (one in every 1,957 housing units); Baltimore (one in every 1,991 housing units); and Las Vegas, (one in every 2,098 housing units).
“The slight decline in foreclosure filings we are seeing is yet another sign of a rebounding housing market,” says Rob Barber, CEO at ATTOM. “With home prices back up, several factors have combined to put more financial resources in the hands of homeowners … However, given that the U.S. housing market remains in flux, the various forces at play could keep the market improving or turn it back downward over the coming months.”
Lenders started the foreclosure process on 21,020 U.S. properties in July 2023, down 12% month-to-month and down 2% year-to-year. States that saw the greatest monthly declines included:
- Hawaii (down 51%);
- New Hampshire (down 45%)
- Idaho (down 43%)
- Arkansas (down 40%)
- Alabama (down 38%)
While fewer homes entered the foreclosure process, a higher number that have been in the system for a while were taken over by lenders, increasing both monthly and annually. Lenders repossessed 3,332 U.S. properties (REOs) in July 2023, up 4% from last month and up 9% from last year.
States that had the greatest number of REOs in July 2023, included:
- Illinois (355 REOs)
- Pennsylvania (230)
- California (217)
- Michigan (200)
- Texas (200)
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