U.S. Foreclosure Activity Drops to 13-Year Low in 2018
Foreclosure Starts Spike Annually in Texas, Michigan and Florida; Highest Foreclosure Rates in Metropolitan Statistical Areas Along East Coast
IRVINE, Calif. – Jan. 17, 2019 – ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database, today released its Year-End 2018 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 624,753 U.S. properties in 2018, down 8 percent from 2017 and down 78 percent from a peak of nearly 2.9 million in 2010 to the lowest level since 2005.
Those 624,753 properties with foreclosure filings in 2018 represented 0.47 percent of all U.S. housing units, down from 0.51 percent in 2017 and down from a peak of 2.23 percent in 2010 to the lowest level since 2005.
ATTOM’s year-end foreclosure report provides a unique count of properties with a foreclosure filing during the year based on publicly recorded and published foreclosure filings collected in more than 2,500 counties nationwide, with address-level data on more than 23 million foreclosure filings historically also available for license or customized reporting. See full methodology below.
The report also includes new data for December 2018, when there were 52,069 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, down 2 percent from the previous month and down 19 percent from a year ago — the 6th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity.
“Plummeting foreclosure completions combined with consistently falling foreclosure timelines in 2018 provide evidence that most of the distress from the last housing crisis has now been cleaned up,” said Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer. “But there was also some evidence of distress gradually returning to the housing market in 2018, with foreclosure starts increasing from the previous year in more than one-third of all state and local housing markets.
“Some of that distress was driven by natural disasters, most notably in Houston, where foreclosure starts increased 61 percent,” Teta continued. “But natural disasters do not explain the increase in markets such as Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee and Austin — all of which posted double-digit percentage increases in foreclosure starts in 2018.”
Bank repossessions decrease 78 percent since their peak in 2010
Lenders repossessed 230,305 properties through foreclosure (REO) in 2018, down 21 percent from 2017 and down 78 percent from a peak of 1,050,500 in 2010 to the lowest level as far back as data is available — 2006.
While completed foreclosures (REOs) are on the decline, California and Florida combined have totaled nearly 1.5 million over the last 10 years. States to lead the nation in REOs also include Michigan (327,783), Texas (313,930), Georgia (299,394) and Illinois (303,404).
Counter to the national trend, five states posted a year-over-year increase in REOs, led by New Mexico (up 20 percent); North Dakota (up 15 percent); Alaska (up 8 percent); Connecticut (up 5 percent); and Maine (up 5 percent).
Metropolitan statistical areas with a population greater than 200,000 that saw a year-over-year increase in REOs included Flint, Michigan (up 161 percent), Beaumont, Texas (up 63 percent), Albuquerque, New Mexico (up 27 percent), Greeley, Colorado (up 24 percent) and Houston, Texas (up 17 percent).
Foreclosure starts at new record low nationwide, increase in 18 states
Lenders started the foreclosure process on 369,170 U.S. properties in 2018, down 6 percent from 2017 and down 83 percent from a peak of 2,139,005 in 2009 to a new all-time low going back as far as foreclosure start data is available — 2006.
States that saw the biggest decline in foreclosure starts from last year included Rhode Island (down 39 percent); Hawaii (down 26 percent); North Carolina (down 24 percent); Washington (down 24 percent); and Connecticut (down 23 percent).
Those metropolitan statistical areas that all saw a large decline in foreclosure starts from last year included Salinas, California (down 49 percent; San Luis Obispo (down 44 percent); Tyler, Texas (down 42 percent); Durham, North Carolina (down 40 percent); and Portland, Oregon (down 32 percent).
Counter to the national trend, 18 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in 2018, including Minnesota (up 29 percent); Texas (up 15 percent); Michigan (up 15 percent); Florida (up 13 percent); Louisiana (up 5 percent); and Delaware (up 2 percent).
New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland post top state foreclosure rates in 2018
States with the highest foreclosure rates in 2018 were New Jersey (1.33 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing); Delaware (.96 percent); Maryland (0.86 percent); Illinois (0.74 percent); and Connecticut (0.72 percent). New Jersey has held the top spot since 2015.
Rounding out the top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates were Florida (0.71 percent); South Carolina (0.63 percent); Ohio (0.63 percent); Nevada (0.60 percent); and New Mexico (0.57 percent).
Atlantic City, Trenton, Flint post top metro foreclosure rates in 2018
Among 219 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in 2018 were Atlantic City, New Jersey (2.37 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing); Trenton, New Jersey (1.56 percent); Flint, Michigan (1.16 percent); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1.06 percent); Peoria, Illinois (1.03 percent); Cleveland, Ohio (1.00 percent); and Columbia, South Carolina (0.95 percent).
Rounding out the top 10 were Lakeland, Florida (0.95 percent); Baltimore, Maryland (0.89 percent); and Jacksonville, Florida (0.89 percent).
Average time to foreclose declines annually for fourth consecutive quarter
U.S. properties foreclosed in the fourth quarter of 2018 had been in the foreclosure process an average of 811 days, a 14 percent jump from the previous quarter but still down 21 percent decrease from a year ago — the fourth consecutive quarter with a year-over-year decline.
States with the longest average time to foreclose in Q4 2018 were Hawaii (1,429 days); Florida (1,311 days); Indiana (1,214 days); Arizona (1,183 days) and New Jersey (1,162 days).
Among 499 counties nationwide with sufficient data, those with the longest average time to foreclose in Q4 2018 were Marion County (Indianapolis), Indiana (2,521 days); York County, Pennsylvania (2,432 days); Honolulu County, Hawaii (2,152 days); Dauphin County, Pennsylvania (2,054 days); Queens County, New York (2,046 days) and Denton County, Texas (1,961 days).
The ATTOM Data Solutions U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the ATTOM Data Warehouse during the month and quarter. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the year may have been recorded in the previous year. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. ATTOM’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee 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). For the annual, midyear and quarterly reports, if more than one type of foreclosure document is received for a property during the timeframe, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The annual, midyear, quarterly and monthly reports all check if the same type of document was filed against a property previously. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located, the report does not count the property in the current year, quarter or month.
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