|U.S. foreclosure activity eased last month, though the reprieve isn't expected to last. At the state level, one-in-76 Nevada homes are in foreclosures, while rising new California foreclosure filings will likely cut short the decline in repossessions.
November foreclosure filings were 259,085, down from 279,561 in October, RealtyTrac announced today. During November 2007, 201,950 U.S. foreclosures were reported.
RealtyTrac's report conflicts with ForeclosureS.com -- which reported that U.S. pre-foreclosure filings rose to 177,254 last month from 167,906 in October.
From January to November, national foreclosures totaled 2,787,552.
Foreclosure filings -- including default notices, auction sale notices and repossessions -- were determined from a foreclosure listing database of more than 1.5 million properties from over 2,200 counties, RealtyTrac said. The figures provide a count of properties that had at least one foreclosure filing reported during the month.
RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio attributed the monthly decline to multiple factors.
"Recently enacted laws that have extended the foreclosure process in some states, along with more aggressive loan modification programs and self-imposed holiday foreclosure moratoriums introduced by some lenders" helped push activity to the lowest level since June, Saccacio said in the report. But he warned that November may be the calm before the storm.
With 60,491 filings, California saw more activity than any other state. California foreclosures climbed from 56,954 in October. Florida followed with 49,190 foreclosures; then Michigan, with 14,594 filings; Nevada, which had 13,962; and Arizona, at 13,136.
The fewest foreclosures were filed in Vermont, which RealtyTrac said had just 22 filings.
One foreclosure was filed for every 488 U.S. households last month -- better than October when the rate was one foreclosure for every 452 households.
At one foreclosure for each 76 households, Nevada had the highest state rate. Florida was next, with one filing for every 173 households; then Arizona, which had one filing for each 198 households; and California, at one filing for every 218 households. No. 5 Michigan had a foreclosure filed on every 309 homes.
The lowest foreclosure rate was in West Virginia, where there was only one filing for every 25,817 households.
Real estate owned filings, or REOs, were 78,179 across the country during November, falling from 84,868 the prior month. Repossessions were 46,438 a year earlier.
U.S. REOs filed year-to-date were 757,714.
California saw its REO filings decline to 17,405 from 20,631 the previous month -- though it still ranked No. 1 in REO activity. Florida followed, with 8,184 November repossessions; then Michigan, at 5,600. After that was Arizona, which had 4,951 REOs; and Ohio, at 4,685.
With just seven repossessions, West Virginia had the lowest REO activity.