While the housing markets have been busy these last few months, with low interest rates and inventory creating a competitive environment, other segments have struggled amid the pandemic. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, foreclosure filings were up 20 percent month-over-month in October. For the month, there were a total of 11,673 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings. The good news? This number is down 79 percent year-over-year.
“It’s a little surprising to see foreclosure activity increasing in spite of the various foreclosure moratoria that are in place,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM Data Solutions company. “It’s likely that many of these properties were already in the early stages of default prior to the pandemic, or are vacant and abandoned, which makes them candidates for expedited foreclosure actions.”
Which areas have the highest foreclosure rates? According to the report, South Carolina ranked at the top with one in every 6,133 housing units having a foreclosure filing, followed by Nebraska (one in every 6,246 housing units), Alabama (one in every 6,660 housing units), Louisiana (one in every 7,078 housing units), and Florida (one in every 7,208 housing units).
But how many foreclosures are related to the financial strain introduced by COVID? Looking at recent foreclosure proceedings might provide a clue. According to the report, a total of 6,042 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in October 2020. The following states had the greatest number of completed foreclosures in October:
– Alabama: 268 REOs filed
– Florida: 261 REOS filed
– California: 194 REOs filed
– Texas: 186 REOs filed
– Pennsylvania: 145 REOs filed
“It’s probably not a surprise that almost all of the metro areas where foreclosure activity increased on a month-over-month basis are also places where unemployment rates are higher than the national average, and in many cases have been hotspots of COVID-19 infections,” Sharga noted. “Still, it’s important to keep the numbers in context—even with these increases, overall foreclosure actions are still below last year’s levels by about 80 percent.”
Source: ATTOM Data Solutions