RealtyTrac, which tracks and maintains housing
market data, said 109,824 properties across the country were at
some stage of the foreclosure process in May. That marked a 5
percent decline from April and left foreclosure activity --
foreclosure notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions
-- 26 percent below the year-ago level.
May was the 44th consecutive month foreclosure activity was down
on an annual basis, a sign of the housing market's steady
progress toward recovery.
"This is showing that foreclosures are fading further into the
rear-view mirror in most places," Daren Blomquist, vice
president for RealtyTrac, told Reuters. "This is good news for
the housing market."
Lenders reclaimed a total of 28,373 properties in May, down 6
percent from April and the lowest level since July 2007.
Repossessions were down 27 percent from a year ago.
Nationwide, 47,085 properties were set for foreclosure auctions,
the fewest since December 2007, the month the nation fell into
Foreclosure starts also were at a multi-year low, with lenders
starting the process on 49,240 properties in May, down 10
percent from the previous month and down 32 percent from a year
ago. The decline brought starts to their lowest level since
With one in every 436 homes in foreclosure, Florida continued to
have the nation's highest foreclosure rate, followed by
Maryland, Nevada and Illinois.
"I think the numbers will continue to drop and could flatline by
early next year," Blomquist said.
(Reporting by Elvina Nawaguna; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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