Foreclosure activity continues to concentrate over just a few states.
According to foreclosure-tracker RealtyTrac, November’s foreclosure filings fell 3 percent as compared to October, and 14 percent from November 2010.
“Foreclosure filing” is a catch-all term for the various “action steps” throughout the foreclosure process. The grouping comprises default notices, scheduled home auctions, and bank repossessions.
As in most months, though, foreclosure activity remains concentrated by state. More than half of last month’s bank repossessions can be traced to just 6 states.
1. California : 14.8% of all bank repossessions
2. Florida : 12.7% of all bank repossessions
3. Texas : 7.0% of all bank repossessions
4. Georgia : 6.9% of all bank repossessions
5. Arizona : 6.7% of all bank repossessions
6. Michigan : 6.3% of all bank repossessions
Meanwhile, with just 5 repossessions, South Dakota topped the list of states with the fewest bank repossessions in November. The Mount Rushmore State accounted for just 0.009% of REO nationwide in a month in which bank repossessions dropped to a 44-month low point across the United States.
The drop in REO is coming at a tough time for today’s home buyers. Distressed properties are in high demand — mostly because they sell at steep discounts.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, distressed homes accounted for 28 percent of all home sales in October. As fewer bank-owned homes become available, though, there will be fewer “deals” to be had.
Especially as the broader housing market continues to signal its recovery.
If you plan to buy a bank-owned foreclosed property, do your research first. As supplies drop, the price for foreclosed homes relative to non-distressed homes may rise, rendering REO properties less of a relative “value”.
Before you write a contract, therefore, talk with a licensed real estate agent. There’s plenty of foreclosure data available online but, when it’s time to buy, you should have an experienced agent on your side.