Foreclosure activity is slowing. According to foreclosure-tracker RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosure filings dropped 17 percent on an annual basis last month. Monthly filings ticked higher 1 percent after a combined 23 percent decrease through November and December 2010.
The phrase “foreclosure filing” is a catch-all term, comprising default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.
January marked the third straight month of sub-300,000 filings after 20 straight months above it.
As compared to January 2010, six of the nation’s 10 most foreclosure-heavy states posted an annual foreclosure filing reduction. The remaining four showed modest worsening.
It’s noteworthy that states like California and Florida posted declines of 7 percent and 54 percent, respectively, and that Nevada posted a relatively-low 3 percent gain. These three states have been at the leading edge of foreclosure activity since 2007. Their subsequent recoveries, therefore, may foreshadow a better housing market ahead.
Or, this may be lasting effects from the “robo-signer” controversy.
Regardless, home buyers continue to clamor for distressed homes.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, properties in various stages of the foreclosure and short sale process are selling at discounts in the range of 10-15 percent so it’s no wonder they now account for 36 percent of all home resales. Buying a foreclosure can be a great “deal”. They can be more trouble and cost than they’re worth.
Therefore, If you’re in the market for a foreclosed home , be sure to speak with a licensed real estate agent. The process of buying a distressed home is different from buying a non-distressed home. An experienced professional can help make sure you negotiate your best possible price.