“We are continuing to see a downward trend with overall foreclosure activity, especially in completed foreclosures declining year after year,” — Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM
For 11 consecutive months, the annual rate of foreclosures has dropped, according to a recent report from ATTOM Data Solutions.
In May 2019, the real estate analytics provider found that foreclosure filings were reported on a total of 56,152 U.S. properties, which is a 1 percent increase from April, but down 22 percent from a year ago. Lenders completed foreclosures on 10,634 U.S. properties in May, which is down 4 percent from the previous month and down a whopping 50 percent from a year ago, according to ATTOM.
“We are continuing to see a downward trend with overall foreclosure activity, especially in completed foreclosures declining year after year,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM. “However, in May 2019 we did see an uptick in the number of states increasing in foreclosure starts going from 17 to 23 states rising annually, and again Florida is bucking the national trend with a continuous annual increase.”
Every state in the U.S. — except Vermont — reported an annual decline in completed foreclosures, ATTOM reported. A handful of state reported precipitous drops in completed foreclosures, including Michigan, which dropped 84 percent, Massachusetts (down 74 percent), Indiana (down 67 percent), Kentucky (down 66 percent), and New Jersey (down 64 percent).
Among metro areas that saw big drops were Birmingham, Alabama (down 67 percent), New York, New York (down 59 percent), Washington, DC (down 58 percent) and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (down 57 percent).
The rate of foreclosure starts was largely flat from April to May 2019, but down 9 percent from May 2018, which is the fourth consecutive month with an annual decline, ATTOM found.
Foreclosure starts in May 2019 were up 99 percent in Wisconsin, up 64 percent in Kentucky and up 53 percent in Louisiana. While at a comparably low rate for foreclosure starts, Florida’s 23 percent increase in May is the 12th consecutive month that the Sunshine State has reported double-digit annual increases in foreclosure starts.
“To put the numbers in perspective, I would use a full year, perhaps 2006 as a “normal” benchmark number. That would be the last year before the real estate world crashed,” said Bruce Norris, president of The Norris Group. “The total foreclosure starts for Florida in 2006 was 102,875. In 2018, there were 33,031 foreclosure starts. Even at a 25 percent increase over 2018, 2019 will still be less than 50 percent of 2006. An increase of some 8,000 foreclosure starts is not a game changer at this point.”
Metro areas with populations greater than 1 million that saw an annual decrease in foreclosure starts included Indianapolis (down 82 percent), Houston (down 65 percent) and San Jose (down 58 percent).
For more information on foreclosures, check out ATTOM’s full report here.