RealtyTrac released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for January, 2014. The report noted an 8 percent increase of reported properties from the previous month, citing 124,419 properties in foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions). Year-to-year, January, 2014 represented an 18 percent drop from January, 2013.
1 out of 1,058 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.
The 8 percent increase was the biggest month-to-month increase since May, 2012.
January also marked a consecutive streak of 40 months of decline in foreclosure activity by year; however, the decline of 18 percent was the smallest decline since September, 2012.
“The monthly increase in January foreclosure activity was somewhat expected after a holiday lull, but the sharp annual increases in some states shows that many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust,” said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac. “The foreclosure rebound pattern is not only showing up in judicial states like New Jersey, where foreclosure activity reached a 40-month high in January, but also some non-judicial states like California, where foreclosure starts jumped 57 percent from a year ago, following 17 consecutive months of annual decreases.”
Foreclosure auctions increased 13 percent in January from the previous month, but were still down 8 percent from a year ago. Bank repossessions (REO) were down 4 percent from December, 2013.
REO properties were down 40 percent from January, 2013, and the figure represents the lowest level since July 2007—a 78-month low.
Counter to the national trend, January foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 22 states.
States with the highest foreclosure rates in January were Florida, Nevada, Maryland, Illinois, and New Jersey.
Among the nation’s 20 most populated metropolitan statistical areas, the highest foreclosure rates were in Miami, Tampa, Chicago, Baltimore, and Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California.