The rate of foreclosure activity, on a national level, dropped in September, reaching the lowest number of properties with a foreclosure filing since July 2006: 106,866. The current rate of foreclosure activity reflects a 9 percent drop from August and a 19 percent decline from this time last year. Recent declines have marked the 48th consecutive month of year-over-year declines in the foreclosure rate.
Septembers decline in foreclosure rates was a good way to end the third quarter. Compared to the second quarter, foreclosure activity remained relatively unchanged — a 0.42% increase overall — and there was a slight uptick (2%) in properties that received default notices. The year-over-year shifts were much more significant: a 16% drop in foreclosure activity, 11% decline in default notices and 38% drop in repossessed property.
The following list illustrates the 10 states in which foreclosure rates were the highest last month:
10. South Carolina: Over the course of September, approximately one out of every 1,069 homes in South Carolina began the foreclosure process. For comparisons, the national average was one in every 1,232 over the same period. Despite the states higher than average foreclosure rate, it appears to be heading in the right direction. Over the past year, foreclosures have declined by as much as 22 percent.
9. Delaware: In September, the entire state of Delaware had 387 foreclosure filings. While that number may seem a bit low to make this list, it is important to remember the size of the state. In fact, 387 foreclosures were enough to place Delaware ninth on this list. Even at that number, one in every 1,049 homes has entered into some phase of the foreclosure process. However, similar to that of other states in the same situation, foreclosures in this region have declined. Foreclosures are down 14 percent in Delaware from last year.
8. Ohio: Despite a 31 percent decrease in the rate of foreclosure activity, Ohio remains on the list. The state of Ohio witnessed one in every 1,020 properties file for foreclosure in the month of September. The decreased rate, however, is encouraging for the economy of the whole state.
7. Indiana: While it currently sits at number seven in the September rankings, Indiana’s quarterly foreclosure rate put it at slightly better ninth place in the third quarter. One in every 983 units was in foreclosure last month, a 24 percent decline from last year. Once again, the decrease in foreclosure activity is encouraging to say the least.
6. Connecticut: Connecticut is the only state with one of the 10 highest foreclosure rates in September to not have a top-10 quarterly foreclosure rate. However, it is important to not that Connecticut came in at number 11 – just outside the top-10. Its placement is due, largely in part, to the 7 percent increase in foreclosures from August, even though its one in 924 rate is a 27 percent improvement from last September.
5. Nevada: Surprisingly, Nevada has demonstrated an increased propensity for improving housing conditions. Once one of the hardest hit states during the recession, Nevada has recently reported a 69 percent drop in foreclosure activity since last September. However, despite the improvements, the state was hit hard by the mortgage crisis, and one in every 797 properties is in foreclosure.
4. Illinois: The entire state of Illinois has a painfully slow process in which they handle foreclosures. In fact, the average foreclosure proceeding takes approximately 889 days. However, despite the incredibly long process, and backlog of foreclosed homes, filings declined 33 percent from September of last year. The decrease was even in the face of a 7 percent increase from last month. At their current rates, foreclosures in the state of Illinois are occurring in one out of every 789 properties
3. Maryland: For the third quarter, foreclosure rates were up slightly in Maryland, but activity dropped in September. One in every 673 properties has a foreclosure filing, down 21% from August and 16% from last year.
2. New Jersey: New Jersey has the unfortunate distinction of not only having a very high foreclosure rate but also having the longest foreclosure process: it takes an average of 1,064 days to complete, RealtyTrac says. In September, the foreclosure rate spiked 8% from the previous month and 29% from last year. One in every 511 New Jersey properties is in foreclosure.
1. Florida: While it may not come as a surprise to many, Florida tops the list of states in which foreclosure activity reigns supreme. Even with a slight improvement over the past year (down 6%), the number of foreclosed properties is disturbing. Not only is one in every 434 homes in foreclosure, but the process also takes an average of 951 days to complete. At that rate, foreclosures will loom on Florida’s books for quite some time.