Are foreclosures up or down?
Depending on how you read RealtyTrac.com’s press release, foreclosures may be up or down. The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report “provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the quarter for metropolitan statistical areas [MSAs] with a population of 200,000 or more.”
Of those MSAs, RealtyTrac’s headline reads, “77% of Nation’s Large Metros Post Year-Over-Year Increases in Foreclosure Activity But Eight of Top 10 Metro Foreclosure Rates Decline From Q1 2009,” leading a casual reader to believe that foreclosures are doing better, but one could argue that just because filings declined in select areas, we may not quite be at the bottom yet.
Today’s report reflects that foreclosure filings declined from 2009 in 14 of the top 20 cities and 8 of the top 10 whereas filings in Q1 increased year over year in 159 of the 206 metro areas tracked in the report, and foreclosure activity nationwide increased 16% from last year.
Why are some areas doing better and others aren’t?
“The decreasing foreclosure activity in some of the nation’s top foreclosure hot spots in the first quarter is largely the result of government intervention and other non-market influences, and not a sure signal that those areas are out of the woods yet when it comes to foreclosures,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
How Q1 filings look mapped out:
Mapped by CNNMoney:
All of the Q1 foreclosure data in full:
CC Licensed image courtesy of seandreilinger via Flickr.com.