Even though the housing crisis is over and foreclosures in the USA continue to fall on an annual basis, August saw a sharp increase, which shows that the effects of the recession have not fully subsided. According to a new report released by RealtyTrac, the prominent housing analysis firm, foreclosures in August rose by 7 percent over July, but they were still down by 9 percent compared to August 2013.
The August increase is responsible for the 12-month period from August 2013 to August 2014 showing the smallest decrease in year-to-year foreclosures in 47 straight months. The total number of foreclosures in the USA in August was 116,913, which is one in every 1,126 homes.
When it comes to foreclosure auctions, 51,192 properties were scheduled during the month of August for a decrease of 1 percent from July and an increase over the same month last year. This was the first yearly increase in foreclosure auctions in the past 44 months. In addition, the RealtyTrac report stated that foreclosures increased by 5 percent over the last year in states where they are processed through the court system.
Looking at the data by state, foreclosure auctions increased in fewer than half of U.S. states. From August 2013 to August 2014, 24 states showed increases, and some of them were quite significant. Auctions in Colorado increased by 160 percent while the rate in Oregon jumped by 117 percent. Other states with sharp increases include Connecticut at 81 percent, New York at 81 percent, Oklahoma at 72 percent, New Jersey at 71 percent, Illinois at 25 percent, South Carolina at 21 percent and Maryland at 17 percent.
Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, released a statement concerning the new data.
“The August foreclosure numbers demonstrate that although the foreclosure crisis is well behind us, the messy business of cleaning up the distress lingering from the housing bust continues in many markets,” Blomquist said. “The annual increase in foreclosure auctions, the first since the robo-signing controversy rocked the foreclosure industry back in late 2010, indicates mortgage servicers are finally adjusting to the new paradigms for proper foreclosure that have been implemented in many states, whether by legislation or litigation or both.”
The highest monthly increases in foreclosures occurred in Florida, Nevada, Maryland, New Jersey and Georgia. In Florida, 6,468 homes were put into foreclosure in August, which is an increase of 74 percent over July and 24 percent over the previous year. This was the first 12-month period to show an increase after 17 months of decreases. Florida has had the highest foreclosure rate of any state for 11 consecutive months at one home in every 400, which is three times the average rate for the nation.
Nevada now has the second-highest foreclosure rate in the United States, jumping ahead from the number three position it held in July. The month-to-month increase in Nevada was 36 percent, which is one in every 524 homes. This is the highest rate the state has experienced since October 2013.
In Maryland, foreclosure starts in August rose by 71 percent over July, and the increase over last year is 20 percent. One in every 532 homes in the state has gone into foreclosure, which gives Maryland the third-highest rate in the country.
New Jersey only has the fourth-highest foreclosure rate in the country on a month-to-month basis, but foreclosure starts have increased by 115 percent over the last year, which is the state’s highest yearly level since January 2014. In addition, the number of foreclosure auctions in New Jersey rose by 71 percent since August 2013. One in every 553 homes in the state is now in foreclosure.
In Georgia, foreclosure activity increased by 196 percent from July to August and by 146 percent over the year. In July, the state had the 12th highest number of foreclosures, but now it has the fifth highest number of foreclosed properties in the country. One out of every 582 homes in Georgia is now in foreclosure.
The top metropolitan areas with foreclosures in the USA are Macon, Georgia, which posted its first increase in 18 months, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, which has shown an increase for 28 consecutive months. The other eight cities in the top 10 to have the most foreclosures are located in Florida: Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, Palm Bay, Tampa, Pensacola, Fort Myers and Lakeland.
Of the 10 cities with the highest number of foreclosures, only two had rates that decreased over the last year: Miami and Tampa.
Author: Gregory Bell
With over 38 years in the real estate industry, Gregory is a Director of the No. 1 office in the Ray White Group.