U.S. foreclosure activity in Q3 2019 was 49% below the pre-recession average of 278,912 properties with foreclosure filings per quarter between Q1 2006 and Q3 2007—the 12th consecutive quarter where U.S. foreclosure activity has registered below the pre-recession average. According to the ATTOM Data Solutions Q3 2019 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, there were a total of 143,105 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in Q3, down 6% year-over-year.
“Foreclosure activity continues to decline across the country, which is a good sign that the housing market and the broader economy remain strong – and that the lending excesses that helped bring down the economy during the Great Recession remain a memory,” said Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer at ATTOM Data Solutions. “This is not to say that everything in the latest foreclosure picture is rosy. Some states have seen their foreclosure rates increase this year, which could cause some concern. But overall, the foreclosure numbers reflect a market in which buyers can afford their homes and lenders remain careful in loaning to home buyers who have little chance of repaying.”
Running contrary to the national trend, 14 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in Q3 2019, including Montana (up 33%); Georgia (up 32%); Washington (up 16%); Louisiana (up 15%); and Michigan (up 12%).
By state, the highest foreclosure rates were in Delaware (one in every 415 housing units with a foreclosure filing); New Jersey (one in every 436); Maryland (one in every 500); Illinois (one in every 517); and Florida (one in every 577).
By metro, the top two with the highest foreclosure rates were in New Jersey: Atlantic City (one in every 269 housing units with a foreclosure filing) and Trenton (one in every 312).
On a national level, despite the reduced foreclosure rates, bank repossessions saw a slight uptick in Q3. Lenders repossessed 34,432 U.S. properties through REO in Q3 2019, up 6% from the previous quarter but down 33% from a year ago. However, 16 states posted quarter-over-quarter decreases in REO activity in Q3 2019, including Maryland (down 37%); Tennessee (down 19%); Delaware (down 16%); New Jersey (down 13%); and Arizona (down 11%).