Foreclosure Activity Drops 14% in June to Lowest Since 2006

Foreclosures on U.S. properties are down 23% for the first six months of 2013 compared to the first half of last year with a total of 801,359 properties with filings, according to RealtyTrac’s Midyear 2013 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

Filings for foreclosure–including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions–also decreased compared to the previous six months, down 19%.

In June, 127,790 properties had foreclosure filings–14% fewer than May, and down 35% from one year prior, marking the lowest monthly level since December 2006.

The number of foreclosure starts also dropped in June, down 21% from the previous month and 45% beneath levels in June 2012 to a seven and a half year low.

“Halfway through 2013 it is becoming increasingly evident that while foreclosures are no longer a problem nationally they continue to be a thorn in the side of several state and local markets, particularly where a backlog of delayed distress has built up thanks to a lengthy foreclosure process,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

From January 2013 through the end of June, about 409,500 foreclosure starts were filed throughout the country and are on pace to reach more than 800,000 by the end of the year, according to RealtyTrac. That represents a 1.1 million decrease in foreclosure starts from last year.

Florida, Nevada, and Illinois were the top states for foreclosure rates in the first half of 2013.

However, Nevada had the biggest drop in foreclosure starts in June from the month before, down 84%. Colorado’s foreclosure starts declined 62%, while New Jersey’s levels were down 40% from May. A total of 38 states saw fewer foreclosure starts compared to the previous month.

Scheduled auctions from judicial foreclosure auctions surged in June, however, up 34% from one year before to 28,296.

“The increases in judicial foreclosure auctions demonstrate that these delayed foreclosure cases are now being moved more quickly through to foreclosure completion,” said Blomquist. “Given the rising home prices in most of these markets, it is an opportune time for lenders to dispose of these distressed properties, either at the foreclosure auction to a third-party buyer, or by repossessing the property at the auction and subsequently selling it as a bank-owned home.”