After rising in October, foreclosure activity fell slightly on a monthly basis in November, but some signs point to a coming increase in early 2012, according to a report from foreclosure data site RealtyTrac.
One in every 579 housing units, or 224,394 properties, received a foreclosure filing — a default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession — in November. That’s a 3 percent drop from October and a 14 percent drop from November 2010 — the smallest year-over-year decline in the past year.
"Despite a seasonal slowdown similar to what we’ve seen in each of the past four years, November’s numbers suggest a new set of incoming foreclosure waves, many of which may roll into the market as REOs (bank-owned homes) or short sales sometime early next year," said James Saccacio, co-founder of RealtyTrac, in a statement.
"Overall foreclosure activity is down 14 percent from a year ago, the smallest annual decrease over the past 12 months, and some bellwether states such as California, Arizona and Massachusetts actually posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity in November.
The number of homes receiving default notices decreased 8 percent month to month and 9 percent year over year in November, to 71,730 properties. That figure is also a 9 percent decline from August, when default notices rose 33 percent from the month before.
That surge in default notices that began in August meant scheduled foreclosure auctions were at a nine-month high in November, Saccacio said.
Scheduled auctions rose 13 percent month to month but fell 17 percent year over year in November to 96,540. On a monthly basis, auctions rose more than 35 percent in several states, RealtyTrac said: California (63 percent), Washington (56 percent), Ohio (53 percent), New Jersey (44 percent), and New York (38 percent).
REO activity hit a 44-month low in November with lenders repossessing 56,124 properties. That’s a 17 percent drop from both October of this year and November 2010.
Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation for the 59th straight month in November despite "artificially low foreclosure activity," RealtyTrac said, due to a new Nevada state law designed to crack down on documentation irregularities by foreclosing lenders — that law took effect in October. Foreclosure activity in the state rose 3 percent from October, but was down 43 percent compared to a year ago.
10 states with the highest foreclosure activity rates in November:
|Area||Foreclosure rate (November 2011)|
|U.S.||1 in 579 housing units|
|Nevada||1 in 175|
|California||1 in 211|
|Arizona||1 in 256|
|Utah||1 in 290|
|Georgia||1 in 330|
|Michigan||1 in 330|
|Florida||1 in 358|
|Illinois||1 in 427|
|Ohio||1 in 500|
|South Carolina||1 in 517|
Foreclosure activity in California rose 11 percent year over year and 15 percent month to month in November. The increase was driven largely by a jump in scheduled foreclosure auctions, which posted a 10-month high last month. Foreclosure filings in the Golden State accounted for 28 percent of the nation’s total — more than any other state.
Arizona also saw an annual increase in foreclosure activity — the state’s first since October 2010. Filings rose nearly 4 percent year over year and 1.3 percent month to month.
Other states that saw annual increases in foreclosure activity included Vermont (100 percent), New Hampshire (45 percent), Maine (29 percent), Rhode Island (20 percent), Delaware (16 percent), Louisiana (nearly 12 percent), Massachusetts (11 percent), South Carolina (4 percent), and Wisconsin (4 percent).
California accounted for nine of the 10 metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more with the highest foreclosure activity rates. Stockton, Calif., had the highest foreclosure rate in November with 1 in 120 units receiving a foreclosure filing. The only non-California metro among the top 10 was Las Vegas, which had held the No. 1 spot for 22 months before October.
All nine California cities posted double-digit monthly increases in scheduled foreclosure auctions in November, including a 65 percent jump in Stockton and a 100 percent jump in Fresno.
|Metro area||Foreclosure rate (November 2011)|
|Stockton, Calif.||1 in 120 housing units|
|Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.||1 in 125|
|Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.||1 in 136|
|Bakersfield, Calif.||1 in 139|
|Modesto, Calif.||1 in 139|
|Las Vegas||1 in 150|
|Sacramento, Calif.||1 in 158|
|Fresno, Calif.||1 in 165|
|Merced, Calif.||1 in 182|
|Visalia-Porterville, Calif.||1 in 183|
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