The nationwide foreclosure wave that followed the Great Recession continued to wane in 2018, with the number of households officially in danger of losing their homes down for the eighth straight year according to the latest 2018 year-end foreclosure market report by ATTOM Data Solutions.
Some 625,000 residential properties entered some stage of the foreclosure process in 2018, down 8 percent from 2017 and 78 percent from peak in 2010, according to ATTOM’s foreclosure report.
Only one in 215 properties nationwide entered some part of the foreclosure process — somewhere between initial foreclosure and final sale or bank takeover compared to one in 198 the prior year and one in 45 in 2010.
There were some potential storm clouds in the generally bright picture as foreclosure activity rose in 15 states last year. No state saw an increase from 2016 to 2017.
But amid historically low unemployment and mortgage rates, the number of foreclosure filings declined in the other 35 states last year, led by Washington, Rhode Island, Hawaii and Oregon.
New Jersey continued leading the way in the rate of foreclosure activity, with one in every 75 homeowners entering some stage of foreclosure. It was among a cluster of east coast states from Connecticut to Florida topping the list with the highest rates of foreclosure activity. New Jersey’s rate was 21 times more than the level in North Dakota, which had the least activity.
Within states – in areas called metropolitan statistical areas – eight of the top 12 rates were in east coast states. The two highest were in southern New Jersey: Atlantic City-Hammonton and the Trenton.
Still, foreclosure rates up and down the east coast rates were down more than 25 percent from their peaks.
On the opposite side of the 2018 numbers, the lowest foreclosure activity rates were in midwestern and western states, which had some of the highest levels during the peak of the foreclosure surge form 2008 through 2012.
For example, rates in states that include North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington and Idaho stood at less than one in 500 homes in 2018. Their rates are down more than 80 percent since their respective peaks.
Regions in those states with some of the lowest rate included Bellingham and Kennewick-Richland and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, all in Washington, as well as Sioux Falls, SD.