Tuesday, April 29, 2008

U.S. foreclosure activity increases 23 percent in first quarter of 2008

U.S. foreclosure activity keeps going higher in the first quarter of 2008. According to RealtyTrac foreclosure filings are up 23 percent over the fourth quarter and a staggering 112 percent higher than first quarter of 2007. In total 649,917 properties were filing for foreclosure in the first three month of this year, one in every 194 U.S. households.

“Foreclosure activity in the first quarter increased on a year-over-year basis in 46 out of the 50 states and in 90 of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, demonstrating that most regions of the country are seeing more foreclosures,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

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This was the seventh consecutive quarter of increasing foreclosure activity and the slightest sliver of improvement gives a reason for hope. Filings in Detroit were down nearly 4 percent from the first quarter of 2007, although the city's foreclosure rate still ranked No. 6 among the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas. Philadelphia ranked No. 82, thanks in part to a 30 percent year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity. The Detroit Free Press reports that investors are coming back into the market propping up home sales by 30 percent in March.

Hope Now, the government sponsored enterprise to help loan modifications, saw a 35 percent quarterly jump in foreclosure activity. There were 431,171 subprime 2/28 and 3/27 loans scheduled to reset during the first quarter of 2008 and only 14,418 were modified, while 203,000 loans, about 47 percent of scheduled resets, were paid in full via refinancing or a sale.There was a ratio of 2.4 workouts per foreclosure during the first quarter, below the 3.1:1 ratio recorded in Q4 and the 2.9:1 ratio recorded in Q3.

The dismal state of the U.S. housing market is reflected in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. In February 2008 the 10-City Composite posted a new record low annual decline of 13.6%, and the 20-City Composite recorded an annual decline of 12.7%. “There is no sign of a bottom in the numbers,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's. The median home price in the 10 largest metropolitan areas was $190,580, the 20 composite index median home price was $175,940 in February.

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By RealtyTrac Staff

source: Steep Declines in Home Prices Continued in February 2008 According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

source: Servicers Increase Focus on Modifications; Foreclosures Jump 35 Percent in First Quarter
By PAUL JACKSON, HousingWire

read also: Foreclosure filings worse in March 2008

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