Foreclosures Increase in the First Quarter
Foreclosures are at an all-time high in the US. Along with default notices, bank takeovers were noted on 803,489 homes in the first half of this year. This is a 9% jump from the earlier quarter and a 24% increase from the first half of 2008. This statistics means that one in every 159 houses has been foreclosed in this quarter.
In March, there were foreclosure filings on 341,180 homes – a 17% jump from the February figure and a 46% from that of March last year. In fact, March saw a record number of foreclosures. Foreclosure filings had become very common in new properties and that means lenders were not making filings on existing ones due to legislative delays. James J. Saccacio, the CEO ofRealtyTrac, said that bank repossessions have decreased on properties due to a moratorium; the freeze will soon be lifted, however.
There is a also a bright side to all the gloom and despair caused by the foreclosure crisis. First- time buyers are showing interest in foreclosed homes because their prices have hit rock bottom now. However, this increased demand for homes will not be enough to offset the rising tide of foreclosures continues to increase as unemployment peaks.
The highest number of foreclosures was recorded in Nevada, where one in 27 homes has been foreclosed; this is at least five times more than the national average. In this city, 41,296 homes have been foreclosed upon, registering a jump of 19% from the earlier quarter and a phenomenal jump of 111% from the first half of 2008. Bank repossessions have thankfully come down by 3% as compared to the previous half of the year. However, defaults have increased (27%) as well as foreclosure auctions (35%).
The second highest foreclosure rate was registered in Arizona, where one in 54 homes have been foreclosed upon. California stood at a close third, where one in 58 homes was foreclosed upon. Florida, Illinois, Idaho, Utah, Michigan, Georgia and Oregon were the other states where foreclosure rates were very high. Illinois registered the fifth position and had a total of 38,966 foreclosed homes. In fact, 60% of the nation’s foreclosures were in California, Arizona, Florida, Nevada and Illinois. In all these states, 479,516 homes were foreclosed out of the total number of properties. Of the 50 states, the lowest rate of foreclosure filings was noted in Vermont. There, only one in 147,191 homes was foreclosed.
It seems foreclosures have become an important feature in the US housing market.