Foreclosures Sink to 13-Year Low

October 11, 2018

Foreclosures are disappearing from most community listings. Foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions—fell 6 percent in the third quarter, dropping to the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2005. Foreclosure activity in the third quarter is now 36 percent below the pre-recession average of 278,912 properties with foreclosure filings, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ latest report.

Foreclosed homes sinking

© SEAN GLADWELL - Moment/Getty Images

“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,” says 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.”

Blomquist also notes they’re seeing modest but widespread foreclosure risk associated with Federal Housing Authority loans originated in 2014 and 2015. Areas like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort-Worth, Texas, are seeing some of the biggest increases in foreclosures from such FHA loans originated in 2014 or 2015.

Overall, the metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates in the third quarter were Atlantic City, N.J. (1 in every 152 housing unit received a foreclosure filing); Trenton, N.J. (1 in every 236); Fayetteville, N.C. (1 in every 253); Peoria, Ill. (1 in every 299); and Philadelphia (1 in every 326).

Properties that were foreclosed in the third quarter are seeing a slightly shorter process. The foreclosure process is averaging 713 days, which is down from 899 days a year ago. The states with the longest average timelines for foreclosed homes are Hawaii (1,491 days); Indiana (1,295 days); Florida (1,177 days); Utah (1,170 days); New Jersey (1,137 days); and New York (1,092 days).