U.S. Foreclosures See 2% Drop

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Foreclosure activity in the U.S. is down 2%  from last year and 9% from last month, according to RealtyTrac, a California foreclosure firm that collects data on the housing market.  

But don’t go celebrating the end of the housing crisis just yet. Bank repossessions are at an all-time monthly high with a total of 92,432 properties in April. This is a 1% increase over last month and a 45% increase over April 2009.

“There were two important milestones in the April numbers that show foreclosure activity has begun to plateau, but at a very high level that will not drop off in the near future,” James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said in a press release. “We expect a similar pattern to continue for most of this year, with the overall numbers staying at a high level and ripples of activity hitting the various stages of the foreclosure process as lenders systematically work through the backlog of distressed properties.”

Nevada continues its reign as the state with the highest foreclosure rate for the 40th month in a row. A total of 16,217 Nevada homes (one in every 69 houses) were repossessed in April, a 10% increase month-to-month, though the state managed to pull even against April 2009.

Arizona, Florida, California, Utah, Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia and Colorado round out the top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates in descending order.

California actually had the highest number of foreclosures filings at 69,725 properties (one in every 192 homes.) This news is actually not so bad for Californians since foreclosure activity decreased 25% from March and is down nearly 28% from April 2009.

In total, California, Florida, Michigan, Illinois and Nevada accounted for 52% of the national foreclosure filings.

By city, Las Vegas had the highest foreclosure rate with 1 in every 28 properties receiving a foreclosure filing. This is a 3% decrease from April 2009.  Nine out of the top 10 cities with the highest foreclosure rates posted annual declines. The exception was Reno, Nev., which saw a 15% increase in its foreclosure rate.

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