USA Foreclosure Listing Activity Heats Up Toward Summer

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Updated quarterly foreclosure data compiled by Bargain Network (bargain.com), a leading online provider of real estate foreclosures, pre-foreclosures and for-sale-by-owner property listings and information, indicates that the number of foreclosures in the first quarter of 2007 (January through March) rose approximately 20 percent to 414,000 filings compared to the fourth quarter of 2006 (October through December). In addition, foreclosure activity in the most recent month (March 2007) rose more than 25 percent over the previous


Updated quarterly foreclosure data compiled by Bargain Network (bargain.com), a leading online provider of real estate foreclosures, pre-foreclosures and for-sale-by-owner property listings and information, indicates that the number of foreclosures in the first quarter of 2007 (January through March) rose approximately 20 percent to 414,000 filings compared to the fourth quarter of 2006 (October through December). In addition, foreclosure activity in the most recent month (March 2007) rose more than 25 percent over the previous month to approximately 158,000. The report supports the widespread predictions made by economists and real estate experts, who anticipated that the rate of foreclosure activity would continue in robust fashion this year. When the nationwide foreclosure statistics for the current month (March 2007) are compared to similar numbers from March 2006, for example, foreclosure listing activity in the USA is estimated to have climbed upwards of 50 to 60 percent.

Top Four States Represent More than Half of All Foreclosure Listing Activity

During the March 2007 period, the four states with the highest levels of foreclosure activity accounted for 52 percent of total foreclosure filings. California recorded more than 32,500 homes entering some phase of the foreclosure process, or one foreclosure for every 373 households. Of the estimated 158,000 homes representing the foreclosure activity in March, one out of every five was in California. Florida was second on the list in terms of foreclosure filings with over 27,000, followed by Colorado and Illinois at approximately 11,000 filings. Of those four states, Colorado’s foreclosure saturation rate was the highest with an estimated one foreclosure filing for every 161 households. Florida and California together accounted for between 35 and 40 percent of all foreclosures in the nation for March, and these two influential states contributed close to 37 percent of the total nationwide activity for the first quarter of 2007.

In fact, the four states mentioned above accounted for more than half of all foreclosure activity in the USA, for both the month of March as well as for the entire quarter. Other brisk markets included Michigan (6,055), Nevada (5,581), and Arizona (5,137). New Jersey and Missouri each had around 4,800 foreclosure properties, with Ohio and Georgia racking up similar numbers of about 4,400 each.

Illinois saw the greatest statistical increase in month over month foreclosure activity with a jump of about 82 percent compared to February. New Jersey also saw a dramatic month over month spike of nearly 80 percent, and Georgia climbed more than 65 percent in the same period. Florida and Michigan both rose about 33 percent, with California’s rate of change from February to March breaking into the double digits at more than 12 percent.

Texas Plays Hold 'Em as Neighboring Louisiana Welcomes a Slowdown

While the overall national foreclosure filing rate was higher in March than it has been in previous months, several states actually saw a decrease in the number of foreclosures, or saw little change compared to the month prior. For example, Texas recorded an estimated 9,200 real estate properties entering some stage of the foreclosure process, which is less than a one percent change compared with last month. Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Utah also remained relatively consistent in terms of foreclosure activity each recording changes of less than four percent.

Several states recorded decreased levels of foreclosure activity, the most notable being Katrina-ravaged Louisiana where foreclosure activity in March declined by approximately 43 percent. New York State also managed to slip into negative territory, showing a drop of about five percent between February and March. For New York, this brought the foreclosure saturation rate to a mere one foreclosure filing for every 5,900 homes, which is well under the national average of one foreclosure filing for every 732 homes.

Single Family Homes Lead the Way, but Condos & Townhomes also Count

On a nationwide level, the bulk of the foreclosure activity -- approximately 81 percent -- occurred in the single family residence market. The Townhome and Condo market, which represents a much smaller portion of the overall housing market, contributed to approximately six percent of the foreclosure filings. The remaining 13 percent of the foreclosure activity was comprised of Land, Commercial Buildings, Multi-Family Residences, Mobile Homes, etc.

Single Family Residence: Compared with the national average of 81 percent, Idaho, California, South Carolina, and Michigan each recorded significantly fewer Single Family Residence foreclosure filings, ranging between 57 - 67 percent. In Idaho, the bulk of the difference can be attributed directly to the increase in foreclosure activity in the Condo and Townhome market. Alabama, Missouri, Virginia, and Ohio, on the contrary, each recorded significantly more foreclosures in the Single Family Residence market than the national average, ranging from 96 – 99 percent.

Condo/Townhome: In the condo/townhome market, which represented about six percent of the total foreclosure filings during the month of March, several states posted higher than average rates of Condo/Townhome foreclosures. In Idaho, for example, almost 27 percent of the foreclosure activity involved townhomes or condos, the highest rate in the nation. Massachusetts, Washington State, and Georgia also topped the list with 15 percent, 14 percent, and 13 percent respectively.

Land: More than six percent of the foreclosure activity in Georgia involved parcels of land, although land accounted for only about two percent of the foreclosure activity nationwide. Oklahoma and Texas -- known for their large ranches and expansive tracts of land -- ranked at the bottom of this list with the least activity.

Multi-Family Units: In Michigan, approximately 1,500 multi-family residences entered some state of the foreclosure process in March, a figure that represents more than 25 percent of Michigan's total. South Carolina also posted high foreclosure activity numbers of close to 30 percent in this category.

The Bargain Network Monthly U.S. Foreclosure Trend Report provides foreclosure activity information and changes based on the total number of homes entering some stage of foreclosure nationwide. Data is also available at the individual state level. Bargain Network’s report includes properties in all three phases of foreclosure: Pre-foreclosures -- Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Foreclosures -- Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). For more information, visit www.bargain.com/homes.

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