Monthly foreclosures fell, according to the latest tracking report.
In December, 109,652 properties nationwide entered some stage of foreclosure, falling nearly 9 percent from November but increasing 35 percent from the same month a year earlier, RealtyTrac recently announced. The national foreclosure rate was one new foreclosure filing for every 1,055 homes.
"New foreclosure filings surpassed the 100,000 level for the fifth straight month, something we've not seen since we began issuing our foreclosure market report in January 2005," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac, in the announcement. "While the number of new foreclosure filings dropped back from the high point of 2006 in November, the combination of slower home sales and rising interest rates on adjustable mortgages continues to drive foreclosures at significantly higher numbers than a year ago."
Despite a nearly 4 percent dip in foreclosure activity from November, Colorado, with a rate of one new foreclosure filing for every 376 households, registered the highest monthly rate for the ninth time in 2006, RealtyTrac said it's latest U.S. Foreclosure Market Report showed.
Nevada's foreclosure rate of one new filing for every 392 properties was the second highest in the nation, falling from the top spot in the previous month as activity dropped nearly 12 percent during the period, according to the announcement.
For the third consecutive month, Georgia, with one out of every 480 homes in a foreclosure filing, ranked third highest.
Texas' December new foreclosure filings -- 14,195 -- were the highest for the eighth month last year, pushing California, which held the top spot for the three previous months, down the second highest, at 12,623, RealtyTrac reported. Florida claimed the third spot, with 8,321 filings, even as its rate fell out of the top 10. Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Colorado, Massachusetts and New York were among the states with foreclosure totals among the nation's 10 highest.
Greeley, Colo., posted the highest foreclosure rate -- one filing for every 169 properties -- among the nation's 200-plus largest metropolitan areas for the fifth month in a row. Fort Worth, Texas, was second with one for each 242 homes households, followed by the Detroit area's rate of one for every 250.
RealtyTrac says it publishes "the largest and most comprehensive national database of pre-foreclosure and foreclosure properties, with over 700,000 properties from nearly 2,500 counties across the country."
ForeclosureS.com, a competing real estate foreclosure research company, said last year's foreclosure filings amounted to 970,948 -- up 51 percent from 2005.