U.S. Foreclosure

The housing market continues to show improvement not only in Atlanta but across the country. While record-low national housing inventory remains, the number of foreclosures reported across continues to decrease.

ATTOM recently released the 2021 Year-End U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, detailing scheduled actions, default notices and bank repossessions recorded in the past year. Licensor of the nation’s top comprehensive data and parent company to RealtyTrac, ATTOM is the nation’s largest foreclosure and distressed properties online marketplace. The updated document reported on over 151,153 U.S. properties.

The data saw a 29 percent decrease from numbers reported in 2020 and an impressive 95 percent decrease from the record-breaking 2.9 million reported in 2010 during the great housing recession.

“The COVID-19 foreclosure tsunami that some people had anticipated is clearly not happening,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president at RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company. “Government and mortgage industry efforts have prevented millions of unnecessary foreclosures, and while it’s likely that we’ll see a slight increase in the first quarter, we probably won’t see foreclosure activity back to normal levels before the end of 2022.”

The detailed year-end report recounts a unique number of properties with foreclosure filings during the year based on published and publicly recorded filings in more than 3,000 counties nationwide. The counties reported account for more than 99 percent of the country’s population.

Reported Bank Repossessions Following 2010 Housing Bubble

During the 2010 housing crash, banks documented over 1 million foreclosures, launching the housing market into a downward spiral. In 2021, lenders repossessed 25,662 properties through foreclosures (REO), a 98 percent decrease from 2010 reports and a 49 percent decrease from 2020 numbers.

Illinois (3,472 REOs), Florida (2,287 REOs), California (1,839 REOs), Pennsylvania (1,293 REOs) and Texas (1,236 REOs) saw the highest reported numbers during the previous year.

Metro areas with populations greater than 1 million that saw increased reports of REOs include Chicago (1,733 REOs), St. Louis (1,255 REOs), New York City (814 REOs), Baltimore and Philadelphia (571 REOs).

Record Low Foreclosure Numbers Nationwide

In 2021, the foreclosure market saw a 30 percent decrease from 2020 numbers and an impressive decrease of 96 percent when compared to the 2009 peak of 2,139,005 foreclosures. The market is currently experiencing its lowest reported numbers since the earliest recording in 2006, according to ATTOM.

The states that reported the lowest number of foreclosures from last year include Maryland (down 81 percent), Oklahoma (down 70 percent), Idaho (down 64 percent), Nebraska (down 63 percent) and Connecticut (down 60 percent).

“The government’s foreclosure moratorium, the mortgage forbearance program, and the mortgage servicing guidelines enacted by the CFPB in August have kept foreclosure starts artificially low over the past year,” Sharga added. “While the recovering economy should prevent a huge increase in defaults, we should see a gradual increase in foreclosure activity as these programs expire, and servicers exhaust all loan modification options for delinquent borrowers.”

While 2021 was a better year for the housing market, some states saw increases in foreclosure activity. Nevada, Vermont, North and South Dakota reported at least a 20 percent increase over the previous year.

Birmingham, Miami and Las Vegas, all metro areas with populations exceeding 1 million, reported significant increases, ranging from four to 142 percent.

2021 Foreclosure Leaders

Among the data collected from 220 metro areas, Cleveland, Ohio, Las Vegas, Nevada, Lake Havasu, Arizona, Peoria, Illinois and Atlantic City, New Jersey reported the highest foreclosure numbers.

Metro areas with a population greater than 1 million that had the highest foreclosure rates were Miami (0.25 percent), Jacksonville (0.25 percent), and St. Louis (0.22 percent).

The ATTOM U.S. Foreclosure Market Report pulls data from over 3,000 counties nationwide, multi-sourcing from deed, mortgage, environmental risk, property tax, natural hazard and neighborhood data for more than 155 million U.S. commercial and residential properties. For more information about this year’s report, visit www.ATTOMData.com.

For additional information on the Atlanta real estate market, stay up to date at www.AtlantaRealEstateForum.com.

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