The number of home loans in various stages of foreclosure rose during the first quarter, in line with precedents set earlier, but there are a couple of interesting counter-trends.
Starts jumped 3% on a consecutive quarter basis and 29% from the same period a year ago to 65,346. Filings increased 6% compared to the fourth quarter and surged 22% over where they were at the same time last year to 95,712.
Bank repossessions, or real-estate owned properties, also climbed annually during the quarter even though in January they’d experienced a drop compared to the same month a year earlier. At 12,518 during the quarter, these were up 6% annually and 8% quarterly.
Completions, which at one point last year were trailing starts due in part to foreclosure alternatives, were higher when measured on a monthly basis. They numbered 4,791 in March, leaping 25% up from February’s number and 9% above the same month a year earlier.
“Despite efforts made by government agencies and policymakers to try to reduce foreclosure rates, we are seeing an upward trend,” said Rob Barber, CEO of Attom Data, in a press release.
The increase is partly due to the fact that the pandemic-related property backlog is finally moving forward, but it also stems from recent economic weakness, including increased unemployment, Barber said.
It took an average of 950 days to complete a foreclosure during the first quarter of this year, and that’s a number which is close to the record high, which was just above 1,000.
Foreclosure timelines vary widely by state due to differences in jurisdictional rules. In the first quarter, the state with the longest one was Louisiana (2,770 days) and Wyoming had the shortest (111 days).