A report released by ATTOM Data Solutions on the US foreclosure market shows foreclosure filings fell to near historic lows in 2018.
US Foreclosure Market 2018: The Numbers
The year-end report showed that foreclosure filings were down 8% in 2018 from the previous year. These filings include default notices, bank repossessions, and scheduled house auctions. The report noted that the US foreclosure market saw filings on 624,753 real estate properties across the nation.
While down significantly from 2017, activity in the foreclosure market is 78% lower than the historic highs reached in 2010- which saw about 2.9 million properties with reported filings.
The 624,753 real estate properties in the 2018 foreclosure market made up 0.47% of all US properties- a drop from 0.51% in 2017 and 2.23% in 2010.
In December of 2018 alone, foreclosure filings (52,069) fell 2% from the prior month and were down 19% from December of 2017. The second half of 2018 saw consecutive drops in year-over-year foreclosure market activity each month.
Looking at bank repossessions in 2018, mortgage lenders foreclosed on 230,305 properties. The number of national REO properties was down 21% from the previous year and down 78% from 2010.
Related: How to Buy Foreclosed Homes from Banks and Why They Are So Great
National foreclosure starts were also down in 2018, with lenders starting the foreclosure process on 369,170 properties. This number was down 6% from the previous year and down 83% from historic highs in 2009 (2,139,005).
US states with the largest year-over-year drop in foreclosure starts in 2018 include Rhode Island (39%), Hawaii (26%), North Carolina (24%), Washington (24%), and Connecticut (23%). Metropolitan statistical areas with large drops include Salinas, California (49%), San Luis Obispo, California (44%), Tyler, Texas (42%), Durham, North Carolina (40%), and Portland, Oregon (32%).
These falling numbers can be attributed to the fact that the US housing market is finally reaching a full recovery on the national level from the 2008 housing crisis.
Not in the Clear Just Yet
While it’s safe to say that nationwide, the foreclosure market trends show a recovery, it’s a somewhat different story looking at individual states and cities.
For example, foreclosure starts actually rose in over 1/3 of US housing markets from 2017. The Houston real estate market saw a rise of 61%. However, this can be attributed to the national disasters suffered in that region. Other cities where foreclosure starts almost doubled include Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee, and Austin. For these cities, the increase is a sign of rising issues in the market as no natural disasters hit these regions.
Foreclosure starts increased year-over-year in 18 states as well including Minnesota (29%), Texas (15%), Michigan (15%), Florida (13%), Louisiana (5%), and Delaware (2%).
When it comes to REO properties in the foreclosure market, states that actually saw a year-over-year increase contrary to national trends in 2018 were New Mexico (20%), North Dakota (15%), Alaska (8%), Connecticut (5%), and Maine (5%). Metropolitan statistical areas (with a population exceeding 200,000) with a reported increase were Flint, Michigan (161%), Beaumont, Texas (63%), Albuquerque, New Mexico (27%), Greeley, Colorado (24%) and Houston, Texas (17%).
Looking for a Foreclosed Home to Invest In?
While the drop in foreclosure activity is generally a good sign for the US housing market, real estate investors know that foreclosed properties make for good investments. So if you want to be able to find one anywhere in the US, you’re going to have to explore all the different channels. We’ve put together 9 different ways that you can find foreclosed homes for sale. Check out the video below.
Related: How to Find Foreclosed Homes for Sale to Invest in and Make Money
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