UPDATED, 8:36 a.m.: There is growing unease about an impending recession, but at least one economic indicator isn’t pointing in that direction. U.S. home foreclosures dropped sharply in the third quarter, with New York City, South Florida and Los Angeles all registering declines.
Overall, 143,105 U.S. properties had foreclosure filings from July through September, down from nearly 172,000 over the same period last year, according to an Attom Data Solutions report released Thursday. The numbers include default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions and is at the lowest level since the second quarter of 2005.
Foreclosure reports from month to month can be volatile. More broadly, the data could indicate the market is not at the level of distress it was prior to the last recession. It could also mean that despite numerous indicators showing a slowdown in the housing market, borrowers have yet to default on their payments.
Some states, however, fared worse than the national average. In Florida, 1 in every 577 properties had a foreclosure filing in the third quarter, significantly worse than the national average of 1 in every 946 properties.
But in South Florida, foreclosures plummeted 34.7 percent to 1,812 filings. In New York City, foreclosure filings fell 33.7 percent to 5,062, and Los Angeles saw a 16.5 percent dip to 1,625.
Chicago, meanwhile, saw an uptick of 6.9 percent to 2,740.
Other cities where foreclosure filings increased include Atlanta, up 37 percent; Columbus, Ohio, up 27 percent; and San Antonio, up 24 percent, according to Attom.
“Overall, the foreclosure numbers reflect a market in which buyers can afford their homes and lenders remain careful in loaning to home buyers who have little chance of repaying,” said Attom’s Todd Teta.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of indicators are signaling that home prices could soon fall after years of price appreciation.
Related Companies CEO Stephen Ross told Yahoo Finance in August that the housing market “is probably in the eighth inning.”