2016 Brings 10-Year Drop in Foreclosures

While many of us were all too pleased to say buh-bye to 2016, one positive thing the year gifted us was the lowest foreclosure rate in 10 years.

According to recently released data from ATTOM Data Solutions, 2016 foreclosure filings were reported on 933,045 U.S. properties, down 14 percent from 2015 to the lowest level since 2006.

For an even bigger boon, the Year-End 2016 Foreclosure Market report shows that 0.70 percent of U.S. housing units had at least one foreclosure filing in 2016, the lowest annual foreclosure rate nationwide since 2006, when 0.58 percent of housing units had at least one foreclosure filing.

Location, Location, Location
So where are the foreclosures still happening? The District of Columbia had the highest share of legacy foreclosures with 76 percent, followed by Hawaii (66 percent), New Jersey (64 percent), Nevada (63 percent), Delaware (61 percent), and Massachusetts (61 percent). In terms of total number of legacy foreclosures, New Jersey led the way with 32,279, followed by New York (31,838), Florida (29,411), California (17,208), and Illinois (12,244).

Some Still Rise
Counter to the national trend, 15 states and the District of Columbia posted a year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts in 2016, including Delaware (up 37 percent); Connecticut (up 35 percent); Maine (up 30 percent); Rhode Island (up 26 percent); Arizona (up 15 percent); and Massachusetts (up 12 percent).

Bank repossessions also showed conflicting trends. Despite dropping to a 10-year low, down 16 percent from 2015 and down 64 percent from 2010, bank repossessions rose in a whopping 21 states. Repossessions in Massachusetts rose 61 percent, Alabama moved up 32 percent, New York rose 21 percent, Virginia rose 9 percent, and New Jersey inched up 4 percent.

“The national foreclosure rate stayed within an historically normal range for the third consecutive year in 2016, even as banks continued to clear out legacy foreclosures from the last housing bubble, particularly in the final quarter of the year,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, the new parent company of RealtyTrac. “Foreclosures completed in the fourth quarter had been in the foreclosure process 803 days on average, a substantial jump from the third quarter and indicating that banks pushed through significant numbers of legacy foreclosures during the quarter. Despite that push, we still show that more than half of all active foreclosures nationwide are on loans originated between 2004 and 2008, with a much higher share of legacy foreclosures in some markets.”

For the full report, click here.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

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