Foreclosure Activity Is Down 8% From A Year Ago, Lowest Level Since Q4 2005

ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q3 2018 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows a total of 177,146 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions — in the third quarter, down 6 percent from the previous quarter and down 8 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since Q4 2005 — a nearly 13-year low.

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U.S. foreclosure activity in Q3 2018 was 36 percent below the pre-recession average of 278,912 properties with foreclosure filings per quarter between Q1 2006 and Q3 2007 — the eighth consecutive quarter where U.S. foreclosure activity has registered below the pre-recession average.

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“A decade after poorly underwritten mortgages triggered a housing market crash, it’s clear that the foreclosure risk associated with those problem mortgages has faded — average foreclosure timelines have dropped to a two-year low, and the share of foreclosures tied to 2004-to-2008 loans has dropped well below 50 percent,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “The biggest foreclosure risk in today’s housing market comes from natural disaster events such as the twin hurricanes of a year ago. Foreclosure starts spiked in the third quarter in many local markets impacted by those hurricanes. Secondarily, we are seeing relatively modest — but more widespread — foreclosure risk associated with FHA loans originated in 2014 and 2015.”

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Lenders started the foreclosure process on 91,849 U.S. properties in Q3 2018, down 6 percent from the previous quarter and down 3 percent from a year ago — the 13thconsecutive quarter with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure starts.

Counter to the national trend, 15 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in Q3 2018, including Florida (up 25 percent); Texas (up 3 percent); Maryland (up 13 percent); Michigan (up 32 percent); and Missouri (up 10 percent).

Also counter to the national trend, 79 of 219 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report (36 percent) posted a year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts in Q3 2018, including Los Angeles, California (up 2 percent); Houston, Texas (up 51 percent); Washington, D.C. (up 2 percent); Miami, Florida (up 29 percent); and Detroit, Michigan (up 65 percent).

Other markets with at least 1 million people and a year-over-year increase of at least 15 percent in foreclosure starts in Q3 2018 were Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida; St. Louis, Missouri; Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Austin, Texas, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Jacksonville, Florida; and Grand Rapids, Wyoming.