From the Philly Inquirer:
Foreclosure filings fell 3 percent nationally in 2012 from 2011′s levels and were 36 percent below their 2010 peak, RealtyTrac reported Thursday.
Filings did increase in New Jersey (up 55 percent) and Pennsylvania (up 28 percent) last year, the Irvine, Calif.-based real-estate information firm said, but were still below the levels of 2010, considered a record year for foreclosures nationwide.
States experiencing hefty increases in 2012, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, were those in which the courts handle foreclosures, said RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist.
“We expect to see continued increases in judicial-foreclosure states near the beginning of the year as lenders finish catching up with the backlogs in those states,” Blomquist said. There will be another set of increases in some non-judicial states near the end of the year, he added, as “lenders adjust to the new laws and process some deferred foreclosures in those states.”
Yet the additional foreclosures are unlikely to be the torrent many housing observers had predicted.
“There are more distressed [sales] to come, but I doubt it will result in more price declines,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics in West Chester.
Investor demand for such properties is verging on voracious, he said. Demand for nondistressed properties also continues to strengthen.
“There may be a lull in house-price gains early this year, but it will be temporary and modest,” Zandi said Wednesday.