Home Repossessions Fall as Investors Step in

November 18, 2013

The number of foreclosures and repossessions by banks is dropping, and investors may be the ones driving the decrease. Investors are increasingly buying up properties when they go on sale at public auction, according to RealtyTrac. 

With an improving housing market, “investors are back in the game,” says Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.

The percentage of homes completing the foreclosure process fell 29 percent in October compared to year ago levels, according to RealtyTrac data. Foreclosure starts have been dropping nationwide for 15 consecutive months. Repossessions have decreased for 11 consecutive months. 

The Associated Press reports that "the trend reflects a growing appetite among investors for buying homes before they exit the foreclosure process and end up on the market... Many large investors are eager to buy homes at public auction, where buyers are required to pay cash. That means they don't have to compete against typical home buyers who must finance the home purchase.”

Still, the trend is not uniform across the country.

"We're still firmly on the road back to normal foreclosure levels, but continue to see the foreclosure problem persist in areas that had delays in the foreclosure process," says Blomquist, who notes states such as Florida, New York, and Illinois are seeing many of those delays since courts must sign off on foreclosures there.

Source: “Fewer Homes Being Repossessed, Thanks to Investors,” The Associated Press (Nov. 15, 2013)

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