Nationwide foreclosure rates continue to drop, but problem areas remain

Foreclosures decreased for the 10th consecutive month in April, a new report says
By Joe Ward | May 16, 2019 08:00AM

Foreclosure starts are up in 17 states and a number of major cities. (Credit: iStock)

Foreclosure starts are up in 17 states and a number of major cities. (Credit: iStock)

Nationwide foreclosure numbers continue to trend downward, though Miami and Orlando are among the notable cities where warning signs persist.

There were 55,646 foreclosure filings in the United States in April, a 13 percent drop year over year and a 5 percent drop from March, according to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions released Thursday.

April marked the 10th consecutive month with year-over-year declines, according to the report, contributing to a positive outlook for the housing market. Despite a slight uptick in July, last year saw the lowest number of foreclosures since 2005, raising hopes that the worst effects of the housing market crash might be in the rearview mirror.

“While overall foreclosure activity is down nationwide, there are still parts of the country that we need to keep a close eye on,” Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM, said in a statement.

Foreclosure starts, for example, are up in 17 states and a number of major cities. Miami saw a 45 percent increase in foreclosure starts in April, according to the report. Among major cities, it was only second to Orlando, which saw foreclosure starts rise 90 percent last month.

Many major American cities, however, have seen a drop in foreclosures.

Manhattan had no homes facing foreclosure, which is a drop of 8 percent year over year, the report said. Los Angeles County saw 0.4 percent of its homes face foreclosure in April, a decrease of 1 percent.

Despite Illinois having the fourth highest foreclosure rate of any state, Cook County saw less than 1 percent of its home face foreclosure last month, a decrease of 4.4 percent.

Falling nationwide foreclosure figures have been aided by a strong economy and dwindling mortgage delinquency rates, which hit a 12-year low in 2018. The good news on foreclosures comes despite at least one expert’s prediction that 2019 will be the worst year for the housing market since the crash, with increasing mortgage rates exposing the market’s affordability problem.