A total of 109,561 U.S. properties had foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - in August, down 12% from July and down 6% from a year ago. The year-over-year drop followed five consecutive months with year-over-year increases, according to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for August. The report also shows one in every 1,205 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing in August."Foreclosure starts in August continued to search for a new floor below even pre-recession levels, indicating the housing recovery of the past three years is built on a solid financing foundation," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "But the continued rise in bank repossessions indicates more batches of bank-owned homes will be rippling through the housing market over the next three to 12 months as lenders list these properties for sale.”A total of 45,072 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in August, down 1 percent from previous month and down 19% from year ago to lowest level since November 2005. So far in 2015, foreclosure starts have averaged 49,362 per month, below the pre-crisis average of 52,279 per month in 2005 and 2006.Foreclosure starts decreased from a year ago in 30 states, including California (down 29% from year ago), Florida (down 40%), New Jersey (down 38%), Texas (down 17%) and Maryland (down 26%).Counter to the national trend, foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 19 states, including New York (up 20%), Virginia (up 16%), Missouri (up 77%), and Massachusetts (up 61%) and Minnesota (up 20%)."The average estimated market value of REO properties nationwide is now 33% below the average market value of non-distressed properties, and homes that were repossessed in the second quarter of this year on average had been languishing in the foreclosure process for 629 days,” Blomquist said.There were a total of 36,792 U.S. properties repossessed by lenders through foreclosure in August, down 22% from previous month but still up 40% from a year ago, the sixth consecutive month with REOs increasing on a year-over-year basis. Bank repossessions in August were still well above their pre-crisis average of 23,119 per month in 2005 and 2006, but well below their peak of 102,134 in September 2010.Bank repossessions increased from a year ago in 36 states, including Florida (up 23%), California (up 31%), Texas (up 168%), Ohio (up 35%) and New Jersey (up 295%). Counter to the national trend, bank repossessions decreased from a year ago in 13 states, including Georgia (down 55%), Illinois (down 22%), Wisconsin (down 7%), Connecticut (down 36%) and Kentucky (down 45%).A total of 41,308 U.S. properties were scheduled for a future foreclosure auction in August, down 14% from the previous month and down 19% from a year ago to the lowest level since May 2006 — a more than nine-year low. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in August were about one-fourth of their peak of 158,105 in March 2010 but still above their pre-crisis average of 33,634 a month in 2005 and 2006.Despite the national decrease, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased from a year ago in 23 states, including New Jersey (up 38%), Pennsylvania (up 18%), New York (up 64%), South Carolina (up 38%) and Massachusetts (up 21%). Among the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas by population, 10 posted year-over-year increases in overall foreclosure activity, led by St. Louis (up 140%), Boston (up 49%), Dallas-Fort Worth (up 26%), Minneapolis-St. Paul (up 26%), and New York (up 22%). Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Minneapolis-St. Paul all continued to post foreclosure rates below the national average despite the increase in foreclosure activity.Foreclosure activity decreased 5% from a year ago in August in Atlantic City, N.J., but the city still posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more. One in every 307 Atlantic City housing units had a foreclosure filing in August, nearly four times the national average. 


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