The number of foreclosure filings last year fell for the first time in at least five years, but don’t break out the champagne glasses yet says a recent Seattle Times article.
Filings fell by 34 percent nationwide, 24 percent in Washington state and 21 percent in the Seattle metro area, according to foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac.
While fewer homes entered foreclosure and were repossessed, experts said the slower pace had more to do with the government intervening to stop foreclosures and less to do with distressed homeowners improving their finances.
So how long is this going to last?!
Glenn Crellin, associate director of the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington, said he expects the foreclosure rate to pick up in 2012 and another difficult year for home prices.
There are enough homes entering foreclosure or with mortgages at least 90 days past due to sustain the current rate of foreclosure for almost 15 quarters, Crellin said.
“Prices are not going to start increasing probably anytime during 2012,” he said. “They may in selected submarkets, but as a whole we’re going to continue to see price declines this year.”
What about King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties?
Last year, there were 21,985 properties in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties with foreclosure filings, compared with 27,926 filings at the end of 2010.
One in 66 Seattle area properties had a foreclosure filing last year, slightly higher than the nationwide rate. Statewide, one in 84 properties had a foreclosure filing, or 33,327 filings, RealtyTrac said.
The Seattle Times, January 12, 2012