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2007-07-30 12:01:00

U.S. Foreclosure Activity Spikes 55% in First Half of 2007

Irvine, CA – July 30, 2007 – RealtyTrac, a leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its Midyear 2007 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows a total of 925,986 foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 573,397 properties nationwide during the first six months of the year, up more than 30% from the previous six-month period and up more than 55% from the first six months of 2006. The report also shows a foreclosure rate of one foreclosure filing for every 134 U.S. households for the first half of the year.

RealtyTrac publishes a comprehensive national database of foreclosure and bank-owned properties, with over one million properties from nearly 2,500 counties across the country, and is the foreclosure data provider to MSN Real Estate, Yahoo! Real Estate and The Wall Street Journal’s Real Estate Journal.

“Despite a slight drop in June, foreclosure activity shows no sign of slowing down,” noted James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Based on the rate of foreclosure activity in the first half of 2007, we could easily surpass two million foreclosure filings by the end of the year, which would represent a year-over-year increase of over 65%.”

Nevada, Colorado, California Post Top Foreclosure Rates

Nevada posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rate, with one foreclosure filing for every 40 households during the first half of 2007. The state reported a total of 25,208 foreclosure filings on 14,687 properties, more than double the number of foreclosure filings reported in the previous six-month period and nearly triple the number reported in the first half of 2006.

Colorado reported one foreclosure filing for every 60 households during the first half of 2007, the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate. The state reported a total of 34,287 foreclosure filings on 19,411 properties, a 15% increase from the previous six-month period and a 38% increase from the first six months of 2006.

With one foreclosure filing for every 69 households during the first half of 2007, California registered the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate. The state reported a total of 189,560 foreclosure filings on 104,572 properties, up 122%  from the previous six-month period and up 232% from the first half of 2006.

Other states with foreclosure rates among the top 10 included Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, Arizona, Connecticut and Indiana.

California, Florida, Texas, Ohio Document Largest Foreclosure Totals

California’s foreclosure filing total and unique property count were both highest among all the states in the first half of 2007. Florida reported the second highest totals, with 102,213 foreclosure filings on 64,250 properties. Florida’s foreclosure rate — one foreclosure filing for every 81 households — ranked fifth highest among all the states.

Texas reported 69,471 foreclosure filings in the first half of 2007 — the nation’s third highest foreclosure filing total. But the state’s unique property count of 41,592 came in fourth place behind Ohio’s 44,594. Ohio reported 60,728 total foreclosure filings, the fourth most of any state. Other states with foreclosure filing totals among the nation’s 10 highest were Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado, New Jersey, and Arizona. 

New “Unique Property” Feature Provides Additional Detail

The new “unique property” count is an addition to the RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report and presents the number of unique property addresses with some type of foreclosure action filed against them during the six-month period. This new metric counts a property only once, even if there were multiple foreclosure filings against the property during the report period. RealtyTrac will issue this count four times a year, including a mid-year and annual report.

“The addition of this metric to our foreclosure report was spurred by a data request for unique property addresses from the Federal Reserve Bank, which is using our data for market and risk analysis, and we believe it will serve as a valuable complement to the total foreclosure filing count that we have been including all along,” said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s vice president of marketing. “It’s interesting to note that the total foreclosure filings and unique property counts reveal almost identical trends on the national level: foreclosure filings are up 39% from the previous six months and 56% from the first half of 2006; unique property counts are up 32% from the previous six months and up 58% from the first half of 2006.”

The consistency is similar at the state level, where the same five states have the highest numbers of households in foreclosure and foreclosure filings, and the same six states have the highest percentages of both foreclosure filings per household and percentage of households in the foreclosure process. “The bottom line,” Sharga noted, “is that no matter how you count —  by individual households or by the total number of foreclosure filings — foreclosure activity is up significantly in 2007. We hope that by providing both the total amount of foreclosure activity and the number of households involved, we’re providing information that legislators, regulators, lenders, homebuyers and sellers can use to make intelligent and informed decisions.”

Report Methodology

The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides the total number of foreclosure filings nationwide and by state, along with the number of households per foreclosure filing. The household numbers are based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2005 estimates of total housing units.

Beginning with the Midyear 2007 report, the report also includes counts of unique addresses in some stage of foreclosure. This new metric only counts a property once, even if there were multiple foreclosure actions filed against the property during the time period covered by the report.

Data is also available at the individual county level. RealtyTrac’s report includes documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank).

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