A recent jump in REOs caused foreclosure filings in March to increase 20 percent from the prior month, according to RealtyTrac, the nation’s leading source for real estate data. There were 122,060 U.S. properties, in March, accounted for as foreclosure filings – either default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions. However, this is not the beginning of a new real estate crisis by any means.
Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, explains, “The 17-month high in bank repossessions in March corresponds to a 17-month high in scheduled foreclosures auctions in October. The March increase is continued cleanup of distress still lingering from the previous housing crisis… Some of the most stubborn foreclosure cases are finally being flushed out of the foreclosure pipeline, and we would expect to see more noise in the numbers over the next few months as national foreclosure activity makes its way back to more stable patterns by the end of this year.”
In reviewing 2015’s first quarter foreclosure stats, it was found that 152,147 properties in the United States started the foreclosure process. That puts foreclosure filings down eight percent from a year ago and down eleven percent from the last quarter of 2014. At 82,081 repossessed properties this past quarter, bank repossessions were eight percent lower than the first quarter last year, despite the recent REO surge in March.
RealtyTrac had several other findings in their first quarter foreclosure market report. The states ranked with the highest foreclosure rates January 2015 – March 2015 were Florida, Maryland, Nevada, Illinois, and New Jersey. In relation to that, the metropolitan areas with the highest foreclosure rates included Atlantic City, New Jersey, Rockford, Illinois, and Ocala, Lakeland-Winter Haven, & Miami, Florida.