Foreclosures’ presence in U.S. housing continues to shrink, according to new data from ATTOM Data Solutions.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 624,753 U.S. properties in 2018, down 8 percent from 2017, according to ATTOM’s Year-End 2018 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The nearly 625,000 foreclosures in 2018 are down about 78 percent from its peak of nearly 2.9 million in 2010 and are now to the lowest level since 2005. Foreclosure filings include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.
“Plummeting foreclosure completions combined with consistently falling foreclosure timelines in 2018 provide evidence that most of the distress from the last housing crisis has now been cleaned up,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer for ATTOM. “But there was also some evidence of distress gradually returning to the housing market in 2018, with foreclosure starts increasing from the previous year in more than one-third of all state and local housing markets.”
The 624,753 foreclosed properties in 2018 represented only 0.47 percent of all U.S. housing units, a decrease from 0.51 percent in 2017, according to ATTOM. The 0.47 percent is also down from its all-time high of 2.23 percent in 2010 to the lowest level since 2005.
ATTOM’s report analyzes publicly recorded and published foreclosure filings collected in more than 2,500 U.S. counties nationwide.
The report also includes new data for December 2018, when there were 52,069 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, down 2 percent from the previous month and down 19 percent from a year ago. It was 6th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity.
The trend of declining foreclosures appears to be continuing into 2019. ATTOM’s report shows that in December 2018 there were 52,069 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, down 2 percent from November and down 19 percent from December 2017. December 2018 was the 6th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity.
“Some of that distress was driven by natural disasters, most notably in Houston, where foreclosure starts increased 61 percent,” Teta said. “But natural disasters do not explain the increase in markets such as Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee, and Austin — all of which posted double-digit percentage increases in foreclosure starts in 2018.”
States with the biggest decline in foreclosure starts from last year included Rhode Island (down 39 percent); Hawaii (26 percent); North Carolina (24 percent); Washington (24 percent); and Connecticut (23 percent).
Counter to the broader U.S. trend, 18 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in 2018. Those states include Minnesota (up 29 percent); Texas (15 percent); Michigan (15 percent); Florida (13 percent); Louisiana (5 percent); and Delaware (2 percent).