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US home foreclosures continuing to fall, latest data shows

Foreclosures in the United States are continuing to decline with the latest data showing they fell 30% in December year on year, the sixth consecutive month with an annual decrease in foreclosure starts.

However, the figures from real estate data firm RealtyTrac also shows that bank repossessions (REOs) in December increased 65% from a year ago, the 10thconsecutive month with an annual increase in REOs.

‘In 2015 we saw a return to normal, healthy foreclosure activity in many markets even as banks continued to clean up some of the last vestiges of distress left over from the last housing crisis,’ said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.

‘The increase in bank repossessions that we saw for the year was evidence of this clean up phase, which largely involves completing foreclosure on highly distressed, low value properties,’ he explained.

‘Meanwhile, local economic problems became a larger driver of foreclosure activity in 2015 Examples of this are Atlantic City, New Jersey, which posted the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate for the year, along with several heavy oil-producing markets in Texas and Oklahoma where foreclosure activity increased in 2015, counter to the national trend,’ he added.

Counter to the national trend, 24 states and the District of Columbia posted an increase in foreclosure activity in 2015 compared to 2014, including Massachusetts up 55%, Missouri up 50%, Oklahoma up 36%, New York up 24% and Texas up 16%. ...READ MORE

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