The foreclosure data firm says November foreclosure filings declined 3% from October and were down 14% from the year-ago period, with 224,394 postings on the books last month.
While the November numbers suggest improvements in clearing the inventory of distressed properties, RealtyTrac co-founder James Saccacio sees the potential for another wave of foreclosures in the first part of 2012.
“Despite a seasonal slowdown similar to what we’ve seen in each of the past four years, November’s numbers suggest a new set of incoming foreclosure waves, many of which may roll into the market as REOs or short sales sometime early next year,” said James Saccacio, co-founder of RealtyTrac. He said the 14% decline is “the smallest annual decrease over the past 12 months, and some bellwether states such as California, Arizona and Massachusetts actually posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity in November.”
Saccacio noted that scheduled foreclosure auctions hit a nine-month high in November. Activity in that segment is tied to an upswing in default notices, which began in August.
“Many of the new defaults that started the foreclosure process over the past few months are now being scheduled for public foreclosure auction,” Saccacio added.
Nevada has the highest foreclosure rate in the United States, making it the top foreclosure state in terms of rate for the 59th straight month in a row. California, Arizona, Florida and Michigan also continue to see heavy doses of foreclosure activity.
Foreclosure filings were posted on 63,689 California properties last month, with the West Coast state representing 28% of all national foreclosure activity. California cities also account for nine of the top 10 metro areas when ranking cities by foreclosure rate. The only exception was Las Vegas, which ranked No. 6, with one in every 150 housing units with a foreclosure filing in November.
Michigan — another state hit by the foreclosure storm — had 13,777 foreclosure filings in November, a 14% decrease from October. Still, Michigan’s monthly total is the third highest in the nation.