Foreclosure filings dropped for the second month in a row.
In February, foreclosure filings numbered 106,074, decreasing about 3 percent from January and down nearly 7 percent from December's level, ForeclosureS.com announced today. However, filings are almost 65 percent higher than in February 2006.
"The foreclosure numbers finally are beginning to reflect the stabilization in housing markets," said Alexis McGee, ForeclosureS.com president, in the announcement.
McGee pointed out that research of 149 metropolitan statistical areas showed that half of them experienced price gains from a year earlier and Freddie Mac's recent announcement on tighter restrictions for subprime adjustable-rate mortgages, which included "much of the creative financing in the market that's in part fueled the national explosion in foreclosure filings," she said.
Nonetheless, certain areas of the country are still being hard hit by layoffs and sluggish home prices and continue seeing high foreclosure numbers, the statement said. These areas include the Southwest, coastal states like California and Florida, which led amongst all states in the number of monthly filings, and states with major manufacturing centers, such as Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri and North Carolina, the statement said.
While the Southwest continued leading the nation as the region with the most foreclosures at 49,368, the number was down from January, ForeclosureS.com said. Meanwhile, California's 25,090 filings in February were the highest of all states but were also lower than the previous month.
"Of course time will tell for sure whether we've seen the bottom or not," she added. "However, other economic indicators reflect a leveling off between housing supply and demand, and reinforce the opinion that the worst really is behind us."
The Sacramento-based foreclosure listing service says it offers more than 2.0 million listings of pre-foreclosure, foreclosure auctions and bank owned properties.