After Big Jump in August, Foreclosure Starts Fall Again
After a significant jump in foreclosure starts in August, driven primarily by Bank of America, foreclosure starts returned to levels in line with prior months, far below the numbers reached at the peak. California has seen a drop in activity of 56 percent since its peak, from 58,623 Notice of Default filings in March of 2009 to 25,778 today. Arizona shows a similar swing in Notice of Trustee Sale filings, from 14,722 in March of 2009 to 5,982 filings last month – a decrease of 59.4 percent. Washington shows the greatest decrease of all, with 71.5 percent less Notice of Trustee Sale filings today than at their peak in June of 2009.
Foreclosure sales were mixed this month, with declines in Arizona, California and Nevada, while Oregon and Washington both showed increases. Despite the declines, the percentage purchased by third parties, typically investors, was at or near peak levels. In California, third parties made up a record 27.4 percent of all sales last month. In Arizona, that number was even higher at 38.3 percent, also a record. Nevada was just shy of their record, set in August at 29.1 percent. Sales to third parties was up Washington was up 15.6 percent, a record for this year. Oregon was the only state to to show a decrease, down from 15.5 percent in July to 6.0 percent today.
“While foreclosure activity returned to its normal course in September, we fully expect to see more volatility like we saw in August as banks continue to work through robo-signing and other issues”, stated Sean O’Toole, Founder and CEO of ForeclosureRadar. “We continue to believe that foreclosure activity is driven by political whim and financial institution solvency than by what’s best for housing markets and the economy.”