About 103,540 properties nationwide entered some stage of foreclosure in January, a 27 percent increase from the previous month and a 45 percent increase from January 2005, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.

RealtyTrac’s Monthly U.S. Foreclosure Market Report shows a January national foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure for every 1,117 U.S. households, continuing an upward trend in which the national foreclosure rate rose in every quarter of 2005.

RealtyTrac’s report tracks properties in all three phases of foreclosure: pre-foreclosures, including notice of default and lis pendens; foreclosures, including notice of trustee sale and notice of foreclosure sale; and real estate-owned properties that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank.

The company publishes a national database of pre-foreclosure and foreclosure properties, with more than 600,000 properties from over 2,500 counties across the country, and is the foreclosure data provider to MSN Real Estate, Yahoo! Real Estate and AOL Real Estate.

“This is the first time since we introduced the report in January of 2005 that we’ve seen back-to-back months with increases of more than 20 percent,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a statement.

“While some of this might have to do with the seasonality of normal real estate cycles, it appears that rising interest rates and softening home prices are beginning to push foreclosure inventories closer to the historic average of 1 percent of all U.S. households.”

After dipping in December, Georgia foreclosures spiked higher in January. The state reported 7,342 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, more than twice the number reported in December. Georgia documented the highest foreclosure rate among the 50 states – one new foreclosure for every 422 households.

With one new foreclosure for every 483 households, Nevada documented the second-highest foreclosure rate among the 50 states. The state reported 1,795 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, a 60 percent increase from December and more than 2.5 times the number reported in January 2005.

With a total of 3,747 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, new foreclosures in Colorado tripled from December to January and increased 36 percent year over year. The state recorded one new foreclosure for every 488 households – the third-highest foreclosure rate among the 50 states.

Foreclosure rates in Texas and Indiana were among the nation’s five highest for the second month in a row, and new foreclosures increased in both states in January. Texas reported 14,669 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, a 15 percent increase from the previous month and one new foreclosure for every 549 households. Indiana reported 4,419 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, a 30 percent increase from the previous month and one foreclosure for every 571 households.

Along with Texas and Georgia, the five states reporting the most new foreclosures in January included Florida, California and Ohio. Florida reported 10,334 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, a 28 percent increase from the previous month and the second most new foreclosures of any state. Florida’s foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure for every 707 households was 1.6 times the national average.

California registered a foreclosure rate below the national average despite documenting the third-most new foreclosures of any state. The state reported 9,354 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, a 22 percent increase from the previous month and a 62 percent year-over-year increase.

Ohio reported 8,268 properties entering some stage of foreclosure, the fourth most of any state and a 22 percent increase from the previous month. Ohio’s foreclosure rate of one foreclosure for every 578 households was 1.9 times the national average.

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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