According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosure filings climbed 4 percent in August from the month prior. A foreclosure filing is defined as default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession.
Despite the number of filings surpassing 300,000 for the 18th straight month, RealtyTrac’s report shows some bright spots for housing.
- The number of default notices served per month fell for the 7th time this year
- Foreclosure activity in Nevada, the nation’s leading foreclosure state, is down 25% from last August
- Foreclosure activity has not materially increased since early-2009, pointing to a stabilization
In addition, each of the 10 leading metro areas for foreclosures posted year-over-year declines for the second month in a row.
But, perhaps, most important, is that mortgage lenders and servicers appear to be managing their REO more effectively, making properties available for sale at a measured pace as opposed to flooding markets with new homes. As noted by RealtyTrac, the probable reason is “to prevent further erosion of home prices”.
For home sellers, it’s a welcome development.
Foreclosures have had a hand in falling home values across the country. And, although it’s self-serving for banks to meter the release of homes under ownership, everyday homeowners benefit, too. Fewer homes on the market helps to provide a floor for housing values.
If you have an interest in buying foreclosed homes, be sure to talk with a real estate agent first. The process of buying a home from a bank is different from buying from “a person”. Having the help of a professional should work to your benefit.