In yet another sign that indicates the economy is improving under a Republican administration, RealtyTrac reports that foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2017 was below pre-recession levels nationwide and in nearly half of the nation’s housing markets.
Citing a quarterly report from ATTOM Data, RealtyTrac said foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — befell 234,508 properties in the United States in the first quarter of 2017, which is down 11 percent from the last quarter of 2016 and the lowest level since the third quarter of 2006. The first-quarter foreclosure activity was 16 percent below the pre-recession average of 278,912 properties, which was gauged between the first quarter of 2006 and the third quarter of 2007.
In addition, foreclosures fell below pre-recession levels in 102 of the 216 metropolitan statistical areas that were studied for the quarterly ATTOM report, or 47 percent. Among the cities dropping the most in foreclosure filing activity were Dallas (73 percent below pre-recession levels), Atlanta (67 percent below), Houston (a 52-percent drop); Los Angeles (46 percent below), and Miami (a 44-percent decline). Daren Blomquist, an ATTOM Data senior vice president, said:
U.S. foreclosure activity on a quarterly basis first dipped below pre-recession averages in the fourth quarter of last year, and this report shows that trend continuing for the second consecutive quarter.
Among those markets where foreclosure activity was on the rise in March, on the other side of the coin, were Trenton, New Jersey (one in every 355 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Atlantic City, New Jersey (one in every 452); Philadelphia (one in every 577); Rockford, Illinois (one in every 631); and Peoria, Illinois (one in every 710 housing units).
States that saw increases in foreclosure activity in March, meanwhile, were topped by New Jersey (one in every 497 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Maryland (one in every 820 housing units); Nevada (one per 857 units); Delaware (one per 858 units); and, Illinois (one per 863 units).
Data for the ATTOM report were collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and ATTOM says those counties represent more than 90 percent of the country’s population.