Most active foreclosures nationwide in 2016 were remnants of loans written between 2004 and 2008. But despite backlogs of foreclosures still on the books in some Atlantic seaboard states, U.S. foreclosures in 2016 hit their 10-year low, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Year-End Foreclosure Market Report.
ATTOM found 933,000 foreclosures nationwide last year, down 14 percent from 2015 and at their lowest number since 2006.
“Foreclosures completed in the fourth quarter had been in the foreclosure process 803 days on average, a substantial jump from the third quarter and indicating that banks pushed through significant numbers of legacy foreclosures during the quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, SVP at ATTOM. “Despite that push, we still show that more than half of all active foreclosures nationwide are on loans originated between 2004 and 2008, with a much higher share of legacy foreclosures in some markets.”
Blomquist said the national foreclosure rate stayed within an historically normal range for the third consecutive year in 2016, “even as banks continued to clear out legacy foreclosures from the last housing bubble, particularly in the final quarter of the year.”
In December alone, there were 86,000 foreclosure filings, which was down 1 percent from November and down 17 percent from last December. The report also found that 0.7, percent of all U.S. housing units had at least one foreclosure filing in 2016which also the lowest total since 2006’s 0.6 percent.
In sheer numbers, the biggest backlogs of legacy foreclosures were in New Jersey, New York, and Florida, while the District of Columbia had the highest share of legacy foreclosures with 76 percent. New Jersey led in total number of legacy foreclosures, with roughly 32,000. Nassau County (Long Island), New York’s 8,632 filings‒‒representing 74 percent of all loans actively in foreclosure there‒‒led counties in foreclosure numbers.
Despite lower all-over numbers, foreclosure activity increases in 12 states and 25 percent of metro areas posted an increase in overall foreclosure activity in 2016 compared to 2015. Delaware’s filings were up 45 percent; Rhode Island, Massachusetts; Connecticut, and Hawaii were all up more than 20 percent). Atlantic City and Trenton, New Jersey, led metro areas with the highest percentage of foreclosures.