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Fla. Foreclosures Down 56 Percent in Two Years

The Florida foreclosure rate dropped 34 percent in the first half of 2017 year-to-year, and it declined 56% since 2015. Florida, once the No. 1 foreclosure state, now ranks seventh

By Toby Tobin

IRVINE, Calif. – July 21, 2017 – According to ATTOM Data Solutions' Midyear 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, Florida's status as one of the nation's top foreclosure states has improved, and the foreclosure crisis continues to heal.

The Florida foreclosure rate dropped 34 percent in the first half of 2017 year-to-year, and it declined 56% since 2015. Florida, once the No. 1 foreclosure state, now ranks seventh.

Florida continues to have a lengthy foreclosure process, however, with only three other states –New Jersey, Indiana and New York – taking longer. Overall, it takes 3.3 years (1,203 days) to foreclose in Florida, the time between a first notice and a final foreclosure sale.

Nationally, foreclosures were down 20 percent year-to-year, and down 28 percent from the same time period two years ago, and the number of foreclosures in June alone dropped to the nation's lowest level since. November 2005.

"With a few local market exceptions, foreclosures have become the unicorns of the housing market: hard to find but highly sought after," says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions.

In addition, banks are buying fewer of the foreclosures that go to auction. "More than 38 percent of properties sold at foreclosure auction in the first half of this year went to third-party buyers rather than back to the bank – the highest share we've ever seen going back as far as 2000, the earliest this data is available," adds Blomquist.

The timeline for a U.S. foreclosure hit an all-time high, ATTOM reports. In the second quarter, it took an average 883 days from the first public foreclosure notice to complete the foreclosure process, up from 814 days in the previous quarter and up from 631 days in the second quarter of 2016. It's the longest timeline since ATTOM started tracking the data in 2007.

States with the longest average foreclosure timelines completed in Q2 2017 were New Jersey (1,347), Indiana (1,259), New York (1,255), Florida (1,203), and Illinois (1,059). States with the shortest average foreclosure timelines for foreclosures were Virginia (176 days), Alabama (295 days), Arkansas (301 days), Oregon (347 days), and North Carolina (374 days).

"Although foreclosures are fading overall, there has been a notable uptick in foreclosures completed by some nonbank entities – counter to the sharp downward foreclosure trend among big banks and government-backed loans," Blomquist notes. He says those "divergent foreclosure trends are likely the result of the big banks and government agencies selling off distressed loans over the past few years to nonbank entities that are now foreclosing on an increasing volume of that deferred distress."

© 2017 Florida Realtors.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

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Don "Toby" Tobin is a licensed real estate professional affiliated with Grand Living Realty. Toby is a member of the Flagler County Association of Realtors®, the Florida Association of Realtors, Enterprise Flagler, Flagler Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

GoToby.com proivdes real estate news, commentary, and analysis for Palm Coast and Flagler Country Florida, as well as Realtor® referrals and consultation to buyers, sellers, and developers.