The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

April 11, 2013

RealtyTrac: US home repossessions fell in March

LOS ANGELES — The number of U.S. homes repossessed by lenders last month fell to the lowest level in more than five years, the latest evidence that the nation’s foreclosure crisis is abating amid an improving housing market.

While some states still saw increases in homes taken back by banks, nationally home repossessions fell 3 percent in March from the previous month and were down 21 percent from a year earlier, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

Thirty-four states posted annual declines in completed foreclosures. Among those bucking that trend: Arkansas, Maryland, Washington and Pennsylvania.

All told, lenders repossessed 43,597 homes last month, the lowest level since September 2007.

At the current monthly pace, completed foreclosures will total roughly 550,000 this year, down from 671,000 last year, RealtyTrac said.

An uptick in homes that entered the foreclosure process last month, however, may end up pushing that total to 600,000, said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.

Several factors are contributing to the decline in completed foreclosures: Steady job growth and ultra-low mortgage rates are helping the once-battered housing market recover, driving demand for homes and prices upward.

Higher home values help restore equity to homeowners, which can help those at risk of foreclosure by improving their chances of refinancing their mortgage to a lower payment or place them in a better position to sell their home.

Meanwhile, states like California, Nevada and others have passed laws to increase homeowners’ protections from foreclosure. Those laws have effectively delayed the pace of homes entering the foreclosure process, which has helped to thin the pipeline of completed foreclosures in those states.

Even so, the number of foreclosure starts, or homes that entered the foreclosure process, edged higher for the second month in a row in March.

Foreclosure starts rose 2 percent from February to 73,113. That’s still down 28 percent from March last year, the firm said.

Twelve states, including New York, Maryland and Washington saw annual increases in foreclosure starts last month.

During the housing downturn, about half of the homes that entered the foreclosure process ended up as bank-owned homes that could potentially to be sold at a sharp discount, hurting the value of nearby homes.

But with the housing market apparently on a sustained, if gradual, turnaround path, it’s more likely that a home entering the foreclosure process now will be able to avoid being lost to foreclosure, Blomquist said.

“A lot of these won’t end up as vacant bank-owned homes, dragging down the market,” he said. “These foreclosures are happening in the context of a housing market that’s recovering. They’re not a sign that the housing market is going downhill again.”

As of end of March there were about 1.5 million U.S. homes in some stage of foreclosure, with 623,697 owned by lenders, according to RealtyTrac. That’s down from a peak of 2.2 million in December 2010.

Most of the homes on the foreclosure path have loans that were made during the housing boom years and early into the downturn.

As of December, 75 percent of homes in some stage of foreclosure have loans that were originated between 2003 and 2008, while 11 percent were made before 2003. Only 14 percent of the loans were made after 2009, the firm said.

The latest data show homes that do complete the foreclosure process are taking longer to do so.

On average, homes that completed the foreclosure process in the first three months of the year took an average of 477 days to do so, up from an average of 370 days in the same period last year, RealtyTrac said.

New York ranked as the state with the longest foreclosure timeline at 1,049 days, or just under three years.

Texas registered the fastest foreclosure process, taking an average of 159 days, the firm said.

 

1
Text Only
Business
  • Business US stocks edge lower after a six-day rise

    Stocks edged mostly lower Wednesday, breaking a six-day winning streak, as investors were disappointed by the latest round of earnings from U.S. companies.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sales of new US homes plunge 14.5 percent in March

    The number of Americans buying new homes plummeted in March to the slowest pace in eight months, a sign that real estate’s spring buying season is off to a weak start.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3M plant expansion to create 22 jobs

    An $18.7 million expansion at the 3M Co. manufacturing plant in Nevada will create 22 new jobs, a company official said Wednesday. “We started 43 years ago as a small manufacturer,” said Todd Cantrell, plant manager, in a meeting with employees. “We are now the largest 3M plant in the state of Missouri and one of the largest of all 3M plants.”

    April 23, 2014

  • First lady announces one-stop job site for vets

    First lady Michelle Obama has announced a new online effort to link soldiers leaving the military with jobs that match their skill sets.

    April 23, 2014

  • Advocates vow to revive Navajo junk-food tax

    Facing a high prevalence of diabetes, many American Indian tribes are returning to their roots with community and home gardens, cooking classes that incorporate traditional foods, and running programs to encourage healthy lifestyles.

    April 23, 2014

  • Feds seek $211K in fines from Minn. company

    Federal safety regulators are proposing $211,000 in fines for a Minnesota agriculture company that authorities say repeatedly failed to make sure workers weren’t exposed grain dust hazards in Montana.

    April 23, 2014

  • Business US stocks edge lower after a six-day rally

    The stock market slipped Wednesday after rallying for six straight days as investors worked through another round of quarterly earnings reports from U.S. companies.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GM, lawyers fight over bankruptcy protections

    General Motors Co. and a battalion of trial lawyers are preparing for an epic court fight over whether GM is liable for the sins of its corporate past.

    April 22, 2014

  • Comcast 1Q earns surge on upbeat NBC results

    Comcast Corp. said Tuesday that its first-quarter net income rose by 30 percent as ad revenue surged at broadcast network NBC, helped by the Winter Olympics in Sochi and Jimmy Fallon’s elevation as host of “The Tonight Show.”

    April 22, 2014

  • Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist investor Bill Ackman have unveiled details of their offer to buy Botox maker Allergan, proposing a cash-and-stock deal that could be worth about $45.6 billion.

    April 22, 2014

Poll

A Missouri Senate committee has adopted a state budget provision that would prevent public colleges and universities from offering in-state tuition rates to students living in the country illegally. Do you agree with this?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
NDN Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers