The number of U.S. properties with foreclosure filings fell 25% in February from a year earlier as U.S. bank reposessions dropped to a 65-month low, according to market researcher RealtyTrac.
There were 154,281 U.S. properties with default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions in February, a 2% increase from January, RealtyTrac reported. One in every 849 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing last month.
“At a high level the U.S. foreclosure inferno has been effectively contained and should be reduced to a slow burn in the next two years,” said Vice President Daren Blomquist. “But dangerous foreclosure flare-ups are still popping up in states where foreclosures have been delayed by a lengthy court process or by new legislation making it more difficult to foreclose outside of the court system.”
Mr. Blomquist noted foreclosure starts have been steadily rising in those states over the last several months and likely will end up as bank repossessions or short sales later this year.
Properties starting the foreclosure process also fell 25% in February from a year earlier. U.S. bank reposessions were down 29% on a year-over-year basis to its lowest level since September 2007.
Florida posted the highest foreclosure rate among all states for the sixth month in a row. One in every 282 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing last month–more than three times the national average. Nevada and Illinois again had the second- and third-highest foreclosure rates, respectively.