Foreclosure filings decreased for the fourth consecutive month in November, according to foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac.
Foreclosure activity, which includes anything from a notice of default to a bank repossession, declined by eight percent compared to October, but was still 18 percent higher than November 2008.
“Loan modifications and other foreclosure prevention efforts, along with the recently extended and expanded homebuyer tax credit, are keeping a lid on the most visible symptoms of the nation’s ailing housing market — foreclosures and home value depreciation, said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
“This is providing a welcome respite for the real estate industry, but a full recovery will only come when unemployment recedes to normal, healthy levels and when availability of credit reaches a more rational balance between the extremes of the past few years.”
Notices of default, the first step in the foreclosure process, were down eight percent compared to October, while scheduled foreclosure actions slipped 12 percent and bank repossessions remained flat.
Foreclosure activity decreased 33 percent in hard-hit Nevada, but the state continues to document the nation’s highest foreclosure rate, at one in every 119 households.
At the same time, the Las Vegas metro area dropped to fifth from first in terms of foreclosure filings, with just one in 102 housing units receiving a notice in November.
Merced, CA took the top spot, with one in every 83 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in November, followed by Stockton, CA and Modesto, CA.
California, Florida, Illinois and Michigan accounted for 52 percent of the nation’s total foreclosure activity last month.