Houston foreclosures fall below pre-recession levels

by Rincey Abraham

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Houston foreclosure activity has fallen below pre-recession averages, according to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions. Nationwide first quarter foreclosure activity also was reported as below pre-recession levels.

The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland MSA reported 3,375 properties with foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2017, which is 52 percent below the pre-recession average of 7,093 filings. Its peak quarter was the first quarter of 2008 with 12,468 filings.

Foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, were down nationwide 11 percent from the previous quarter and 19 percent from the first quarter of 2016 to 234,508 U.S. properties. This is the lowest level reported since 2006. Additionally, this is 16 percent below the pre-recession average of 278,912 properties with foreclosure filings each quarter between the first quarter of 2006 and the third quarter of 2007.

In March, 36,370 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in March, which is up 6 percent from February 2017 but down 24 percent from March 2016. This is the 21st consecutive month of foreclosure starts being down on a year-over-year basis.

“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,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. “The number of local markets dropping below pre-recession levels continues to grow, up from 78 a year ago to 102 in this report.”

Out of the 216 markets analyzed, 53 percent still reported foreclosure activity levels above pre-recession averages. These include New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston, New Orleans, Baltimore and Virginia Beach.

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