Markets & Economy

Foreclosure activity rises to 18-month high

RealtyTrac: Spike due to backlog of REOs seeing light of day in April

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Driven by an increase in bank repossessions, 125,875 properties faced some form of foreclosure activity in April, representing an 18-month high, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. April's foreclosure property count marks a 3 percent jump from March and a 9 percent leap from a year ago, but RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist emphasized that it's a lagging indicator and a consequence of past foreclosures moving through the pipeline, not an indication of a current housing turbulence. RealtyTrac's definition of foreclosure activity encompasses default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions (REOs). At 45,168, the number of REOs in April was up 25 percent from the previous month and up 50 percent from a year ago to a 27-month high. The spike in April REOs, however, is still 56 percent below the peak of 102,134 REOs in September 2013. “The REO increase in April was foreshadowed by a 23-month high in scheduled foreclosure auctions i...