The number of properties in the U.S. receiving a foreclosure filing grew 3.6% in July from the prior month, though they were down 9.7% on the year, according to market researcher RealtyTrac.

RealtyTrac Chief Executive James J. Saccacio said declines in new default notices, which fell compared with a year earlier for the sixth straight month, have been offset by near-record levels of bank repossessions, which have posted eight consecutive months of annual increases.

The sector has been undergoing an uneven recovery after the real-estate market's long, deep downturn. Sales pulled back during the bad weather around the start of the year but then surged ahead of the expiration of a first-time home-buyer tax credit at the end of April. Since then, troubling data has indicated underlying real-estate demand may be weaker than hoped.

RealtyTrac reported 325,229 properties got a filing in July, the 17th straight month the figure has topped 300,000.

Nevada continued to be the top foreclosure state, with one out of every 82 housing units getting a filing in the month. It was followed by Arizona, although foreclosure activity fell year-over-year there. California accounted for 21% of filing activity nationwide.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.