Foreclosures at Lowest Point Since 2007

The American economy is generally considered healthy when the housing market is stable. The news that the United States housing market is back on its feet thanks to rising home prices and steady job growth should be a cause for celebration.

For almost four years, each month has boasted a drop in foreclosure activity from the previous year’s levels. For example, foreclosure activity in March of this year was 23 percent lower than the foreclosure filings reported from March of 2013. According to a report from RealtyTrac, this brought first quarter foreclosures to the lowest point the US real estate market has seen since 2007.

Current Trends

The steady decrease in foreclosures means more US homeowners are keeping up with their mortgage payments. The number of properties repossessed by lenders in March decreased 5 percent since February and 34 percent since the year prior. Unfortunately, the issue is not completely remedied.

RealtyTrac stated that there were about 117,500 properties in the United States with default notices, scheduled actions and bank repossessions in March. That number increased the monthly foreclosure activity trend from February by 4 percent. This may be attributed to the shorter month, compounded with a rise in foreclosure starts. A foreclosure start is the initial public notice informing homeowners of the beginning of the property seizure process.

On an individual basis, Florida was recorded as having the highest foreclosure rate of all 50 states. This state was closely followed by Maryland and Nevada.

What does this mean?

The RealtyTrac report stated that banks are now focusing their attention on homes that have been in what is being called “foreclosure limbo.” They are expected to direct more resources to roughly half a million homes already in foreclosure that need to be sold. Right now, approximately 10 percent of bank-owned properties are listed for sale and the banks want to increase this number.

The banks took immediate action by scheduling almost 30,000 foreclosure auctions in judicial states this March. This is an increase of about 10 percent from the previous month and five percent from the previous year. In non-judicial states, the increase was slightly less. 23,511 scheduled foreclosure auctions created a three percent increase from the previous year.

All of these numbers can translate to a positive message for home buyers. Whether you are a first time home buyer or you are an experienced investor, now is a great time to research buying a foreclosed property. These statistics could mean the inventory is on your side, creating a buyers market.

As a first time home buyer, foreclosed homes are a great place to start. They are inexpensive and can be a fun project for young people to invest time and energy into. As an investor, foreclosure properties can be beneficial for the same reason.

Navigating the world of foreclosure properties and auctions can be overwhelming so consult a real estate attorney that can help you understand current market trends. With over 30 years of experience, Marc Simon can handle virtually any real estate legal matter. For more information about this Las Vegas lawyer contact 702.451.7077 or