Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fall in Foreclosures: Glimmer of Hope for Housing?

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. home foreclosure filings in January decreased from December, an indication that an array of efforts to curb the process may be making an impact, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said on Thursday.

Foreclosure activity was still 18% higher than a year earlier, the 37th consecutive month with a year-over-year increase. Nevertheless, the fall in foreclosure filings last month provides a glimmer of hope for the hard-hit U.S. housing market.

Home foreclosure filings in January totaled 274,399, down 10 percent from December, RealtyTrac, an online market of foreclosure properties, said in its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The figure is a total of default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions.

MP: If you crunch the raw data, and take out the four states with the worst foreclosure problems (AZ, CA, FL and NV), foreclosures actually fell by -2.12% in January 2009 compared to January 2008. With those four states, foreclosures rose by 17.77% over the same period.

Also, all four of those states had declines in January foreclosures (compared to December): AZ (-8.1%), CA (-14.2%), FL (-19.8%) and NV (-4.0%), which helped bring down overall foreclosures in January by -9.6% vs. December.


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