According to ATTOM’s latest market report, foreclosure filings in the United States started to stabilize in February after 21 consecutive months of increases. The report showed 30,528 US properties with foreclosure filings, down 3% from a month ago and up 18% from a year ago.
ATTOM CEO Rob Barber cautioned that the numbers do not yet show a clear trend toward fewer foreclosures, partly because February is a short month. However, he noted that with historically high levels of home equity flowing from a decade of rising values, a growing number of delinquent mortgage payers may have at least the option to sell before facing foreclosure.
Last month, the United States saw a decrease of 2% in foreclosure completion numbers compared to the previous month. However, foreclosure rates were still up by 45% compared to the same period last year. According to the report, lenders repossessed 3,831 properties through completed foreclosures (REOs) during the month of February. This is a worrying trend as it indicates that despite the pandemic, homeowners are still struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments. The report also revealed that New York, Georgia, California, Texas, and Virginia were among the states with the highest annual increase in completed foreclosures, with at least 100 or more REOs.
In February, the five major metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with populations over 200,000 that had the largest number of completed foreclosures were Chicago, Illinois with 193 Real Estate Owned (REOs), followed by New York, New York with 170 REOs, Detroit, Michigan with 112 REOs, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with 104 REOs, and St. Louis, Missouri with 97 REOs.