RealtyTrac: Foreclosure Starts Increase

RealtyTrac released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for October 2015, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 115,134 U.S. properties in October, an increase of 6 percent from the previous month but still down 6 percent from a year ago. The report also shows one in every 1,147 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

The 6 percent monthly increase in overall foreclosure activity was caused primarily by a 12 percent monthly jump in foreclosure starts, with 48,605 properties starting the foreclosure process for the first time in October. The October monthly increase was the largest month-over-month increase since August 2011, when there was a 24 percent month-over-month increase. Despite the month-over-month increase, foreclosure starts in October were still down 14 percent from a year ago.

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“We’ve seen a seasonal increase in foreclosure starts in October for the past five consecutive years, so it’s not too surprising to see the monthly increase this October,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “However, the 12 percent increase this October is more than double the average 5 percent monthly increase in the past five Octobers, and the even more dramatic monthly increases in some states is certainly a concern. The upward trend in foreclosure starts in those states in some cases could be an indication of fissures in economic fundamentals driving more distress and in other cases is more likely an indication of long-term delinquencies finally entering the foreclosure pipeline.”

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October foreclosure starts increased from the previous month in 34 states, including California (up 21 percent), Florida (up 13 percent), New Jersey (up 15 percent), Illinois (up 20 percent), Maryland (up 300 percent), Washington (up 34 percent), and Michigan (up 37 percent).