Foreclosure timelines declined over the year in the third quarter, a first in RealtyTrac’s reporting history, according to the latest Foreclosure Market Report released Thursday by ATTOM Data Solutions, the parent company of RealtyTrac. RealtyTrac has been reporting foreclosure timelines since 2007.
It took five fewer days to foreclose a home in the third quarter of this year than in the third quarter of last year, according to RealtyTrac, which reported an average foreclosure timeline of 625 days in Q3 2016.
This momentous decline was “the final nail in the coffin of the foreclosure crisis,” according to Daren Blomquist, SVP at ATTOM Data Solutions.
“The decrease in the average foreclosure timeline indicates that banks have worked through the bulk of the legacy foreclosure backlog in most states – with a few lingering exceptions – and that most of the foreclosures being completed now are relatively recent defaults that are more efficiently progressing through the foreclosure pipeline,” Blomquist said.
Overall foreclosures have “been on a steady slide downward over the past six years, finally dropping back below pre-crisis levels in September,” Blomquist said in the report.
Foreclosure filings were down 13 percent over the month in September and 24 percent over the year, reaching their lowest level since December 2005, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
Foreclosure filings actually ticked up 4 percent over the third quarter of this year, but they were down 10 percent from the same quarter last year, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines.
Foreclosure starts also followed a downward trend, sliding 13 percent over the month in September and 20 percent over the year to a more-than 11-year low. Bank repossessions were down 32 percent over the year and 12 percent over the month in September.
A significant share of properties sold at foreclosure auction in the third quarter went into the hands of third-party investors, according to ATTOM. Forty-four percent of properties sold at foreclosure auction went to investors, breaking a pre-recession high of 30 percent in 2005 and higher than any quarter since RealtyTrac began recording data in 2000.
Nationally, one in every 1,600 homes had a foreclosure filing in September. The states with the highest foreclosure rates were Delaware (one in every 680 homes), New Jersey (one in every 691 homes), Nevada (one in every 897 homes), Illinois (one in every 946), and Florida (one in every 950).
While foreclosure timelines decreased over the year nationally for the first time on record, the time it took to foreclose a home increased on an annual basis in 27 states in the third quarter.
The states where the foreclosure process takes the longest as of the third quarter are New Jersey (1,262 days), Hawaii (1,241 days), New York (1,070 days), Florida (1,038 days), and Illinois (942 days)—all of which are judicial states.
States where foreclosures take the least amount of time include Virginia (196 days), New Hampshire (230 days), Texas (246 days), Minnesota (250 days), and Mississippi (253 days)—all of which are non-judicial states.