| WASHINGTON, June 10
WASHINGTON, June 10 Foreclosure activity across
the United States dropped to an eight-year low in May as banks
reclaimed fewer homes and foreclosure starts saw their lowest
levels in years, RealtyTrac said in a report on Tuesday.
RealtyTrac, which tracks and maintains housing market data,
said 109,824 properties across the country were at some stage of
the foreclosure process in May. That marked a 5 percent decline
from April and left foreclosure activity -- foreclosure notices,
scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- 26 percent below
the year-ago level.
May was the 44th consecutive month foreclosure activity was
down on an annual basis, a sign of the housing market's steady
progress toward recovery.
"This is showing that foreclosures are fading further into
the rear-view mirror in most places," Daren Blomquist, vice
president for RealtyTrac, told Reuters. "This is good news for
the housing market."
Lenders reclaimed a total of 28,373 properties in May, down
6 percent from April and the lowest level since July 2007.
Repossessions were down 27 percent from a year ago.
Nationwide, 47,085 properties were set for foreclosure
auctions, the fewest since December 2007, the month the nation
fell into recession.
Foreclosure starts also were at a multi-year low, with
lenders starting the process on 49,240 properties in May, down
10 percent from the previous month and down 32 percent from a
year ago. The decline brought starts to their lowest level since
With one in every 436 homes in foreclosure, Florida
continued to have the nation's highest foreclosure rate,
followed by Maryland, Nevada and Illinois.
"I think the numbers will continue to drop and could
flatline by early next year," Blomquist said.
(Reporting by Elvina Nawaguna; Editing by Leslie Adler)