More than 321,000 U.S. properties last month received foreclosure filings, which include default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions, an increase of nearly 18% from May 2008.
The May total represents a decrease of 6% from the previous month, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties based in Irvine, Calif., and its May 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report released today. The report also shows that one in every 398 housing units received a foreclosure filing in May.
"May foreclosure activity was the third highest month on record, and marked the third straight month where the total number of properties with foreclosure filings exceeded 300,000 – a first in the history of our report," James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac's CEO, said of the report.
"While defaults and scheduled foreclosure auctions were both down from the previous month, bank repossessions, or REOs, were up 2% thanks largely to substantial increases in several states, including Michigan, Arizona, Washington, Nevada, Oregon and New York," Saccacio said. "We expect REO activity to spike in the coming months as foreclosure delays and moratoria implemented by various state laws come to an end."
Nevada continued to document the nation's highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 64 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month – more than six times the national average.
With one in every 144 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, California posted the nation's second highest state foreclosure rate despite a 4% decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month. Florida posted the third highest state foreclosure rate in May, with one in every 148 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month
Arizona posted the fourth highest state foreclosure rate in May, with one in every 158 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, and Utah posted the fifth highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 316 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing. Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation's 10 highest were Michigan, Georgia, Colorado, Idaho and Ohio.
California reported 92,249 properties with foreclosure filings in May, the highest total of any state and up nearly 23% from May 2008. Bank repossessions in California were down 1% from the previous month and defaults were down 18%, but scheduled auctions were up 18%.
Default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions in Florida were all down from the previous month, but the state still posted the nation's second highest number of properties with foreclosure filings: 58,931, up 50% from May 2008.
Nevada documented 17,157 properties with foreclosure filings in May, the third highest total of any state and up nearly 83% from May 2008. A 23% increase in bank repossessions helped push Nevada foreclosure activity up 5% from the previous month.
Other states with totals among the 10 highest in the country were Arizona (16,865), Michigan (13,891), Ohio (11,360), Illinois (10,942), Georgia (10,516), Texas (9,813) and Virginia (5,385). The top 10 states accounted for nearly 77% of total properties with foreclosure filings nationwide.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 14,681 Las Vegas properties in May, one in every 54 housing units – more than seven times the national average and the highest foreclosure rate among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000. The city's foreclosure activity increased 4% from the previous month and 78% from May 2008. California and Florida accounted for the remainder of top 10 metro foreclosure rates.
California cities accounted for six of the top 10 spots: Stockton at No. 2 (one in 68 housing units), Modesto at No. 3 (one in 71), Riverside-San Bernardino at No. 4 (one in 75), Merced at No. 5 (one in 78), Bakersfield at No. 7 (one in 94), and Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 9 (one in 101).
Florida cities accounted for three of the top 10 spots: Cape Coral-Fort Myers at No. 6 (one in 82 housing units), Orlando-Kissimmee at No. 8 (one in 101), and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at No. 10 (one in 105).