LOS ANGELES —
Twelve states, including New York, Maryland and Washington saw annual increases in foreclosure starts last month.
During the housing downturn, about half of the homes that entered the foreclosure process ended up as bank-owned homes that could potentially to be sold at a sharp discount, hurting the value of nearby homes.
But with the housing market apparently on a sustained, if gradual, turnaround path, it’s more likely that a home entering the foreclosure process now will be able to avoid being lost to foreclosure, Blomquist said.
“A lot of these won’t end up as vacant bank-owned homes, dragging down the market,” he said. “These foreclosures are happening in the context of a housing market that’s recovering. They’re not a sign that the housing market is going downhill again.”
As of end of March there were about 1.5 million U.S. homes in some stage of foreclosure, with 623,697 owned by lenders, according to RealtyTrac. That’s down from a peak of 2.2 million in December 2010.
Most of the homes on the foreclosure path have loans that were made during the housing boom years and early into the downturn.
As of December, 75 percent of homes in some stage of foreclosure have loans that were originated between 2003 and 2008, while 11 percent were made before 2003. Only 14 percent of the loans were made after 2009, the firm said.
The latest data show homes that do complete the foreclosure process are taking longer to do so.
On average, homes that completed the foreclosure process in the first three months of the year took an average of 477 days to do so, up from an average of 370 days in the same period last year, RealtyTrac said.
New York ranked as the state with the longest foreclosure timeline at 1,049 days, or just under three years.
Texas registered the fastest foreclosure process, taking an average of 159 days, the firm said.