NEW YORK Dec 13 New foreclosures on U.S. homes
hit their lowest in nearly six years in November, another sign
the nation's housing market is recovering, according to a report
U.S. foreclosure starts fell 13 percent from October and were
down 28 percent compared with a year ago, the data from
RealtyTrac showed. Foreclosure starts were filed for the first
time on 77,494 properties in November, the lowest since December
The drop in new foreclosures coincides with rising prices
and improved sentiment in the housing market that many
economists believe marks a turning point for the sector after
the housing bubble burst six years ago.
The drop in new foreclosures helped push overall foreclosure
activity down 3 percent in November compared with October and 19
percent compared with a year earlier, the 26th month with an
annual decrease, RealtyTrac said.
"The drop in overall foreclosure activity in November was
caused largely by a 71-month low in foreclosure starts for the
month, more evidence that we are past the worst," said Daren
Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
Bank repossession rose, however, for the first time in more
than two years. The rise was the first since October 2010 when
the exposure of the "robo-signing" of foreclosure documents
caused a sharp slowdown in foreclosure activity.
Despite the improving overall picture, there remains a large
disparity between states and the lower prices commanded by
foreclosed homes is still a headwind for the housing market.
"Foreclosures are continuing to hobble the U.S. housing
market as lenders finally seize properties that started the
process a year or two ago - and much longer in some cases," said
Blomquist. "We're likely not completely out of the woods when it
comes to foreclosure starts, either."
Florida's foreclosure rate was the highest for the third
month in a row. One in every 304 Florida homes had a foreclosure
filing in November - more than twice the national average.
Florida properties with a foreclosure filing in November
rose 3 percent from the previous month and were up 20 percent
from November 2011.