National foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, were up 9 percent from April to May but down 4 percent from May 2011, according to new data from RealtyTrac.
For May, one in every 639 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing.
Other findings from the report included:
- Foreclosure activity has now decreased on a year-over-year basis for 20 straight months.
- For Illinois, Texas and Florida, foreclosure starts increased year-over-year by 28, 51 and 83 percent, respectively, while in Illinois and Florida, REO activity jumped by 65 and 32 percent, the best sign yet that distressed inventories are moving faster.
- Overall foreclosure activity for Illinois was 54 percent higher from last year and Florida’s was 38 percent; the state’s have the fifth and sixth highest foreclosure rates in the nation.
- Activity was also up in those state’s metropolitan areas. In Chicago, there were 15,066 filings in May, or 1 in every 252 houses; that’s 27.25 percent higher than April, and 56.17 percent higher than May 2011. In Miami, the 7,405 filings represented 1 for every 333 houses, but that was 18 percent less than April and only 11.25 percent higher than May of last year. And in Houston, 1 in every 677 homes, or 3,410, received a filing, a 24.41 percent increase from April and 24.82 percent increase from May 2011.
There were undoubted increases in foreclosure activity in certain pockets of the U.S., but we just reported yesterday that, in the best news in weeks, shadow inventories were down nearly 15 percent from last year; so even though filings are up, perhaps the system is finally working through its inventories with relative speed?
Ian Robinson, the managing broker for Coldwell Banker in Northbrook, said that process will be key for Illinois’ housing market to recover.
“We do know that there are many foreclosures currently in progress in Illinois,” Robinson said via email. “We hope to see a larger percentage of those go as short sales than we have in the past. The short sales are better for the market and banks in the long run, and the more short sales, the shorter our time to reach the end of this challenging market.”