Vulture funds and homebuyers seeking distressed properties at bargain-basement prices may have to keep waiting.
Last year saw the fewest foreclosure filings since at least 2005, according to a newly released report. Overall, foreclosure property filings in the U.S. dropped to 493,066 in 2019, down 21 percent from 2018, according to the report from Attom Data Solutions. Meanwhile, lenders repossessed just 143,955 properties through foreclosure in 2019, down 37 percent from 2018.
The data from Attom show that foreclosures continue to drop, and despite signs that the housing market is cooling down, borrowers are still able to make their mortgage payments.
Some of the country’s largest metro areas followed this trend. In Miami, foreclosures dropped to 16,583, down 14 percent from 2018, while those in New York City fell 33 percent to 39,554. In Los Angeles, foreclosures declined 17 percent to 11,439, while in Chicago they fell 17 percent to 27,049 filings.
“The continued decline in distressed properties is one of many signs pointing to a much-improved housing market compared to the bad old days of the Great Recession,” Todd Teta, chief product officer for Attom Data Solutions, said in a statement. “That said, there is some reason for concern about the potential for a change in the wrong direction, given that residential foreclosure starts increased in about a third of the nation’s metro housing markets in 2019.”
Indicators over the past two years had shown that the post-crisis housing boom would come to an end. But home prices continue to rise and homebuilders such as Lennar Corp. are continuing to see growth in new home deliveries.