For the eighth straight consecutive month, national foreclosure activity in the U.S. was dominated by a small set of states.
As reported by Realty Trac, more than half of October's foreclosure-related activity came from just 4 states:
The remaining Top 10 states in terms of total foreclosure activity included Arizona, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, and Maryland.
Foreclosures are up 19 percent from last October, but a deeper look at the RealtyTrac report revealed two positive developments for the housing market.
- Foreclosure activity is down 3 percent from last month
- Foreclosures per Household decreased in 9 of the 10 most heavily concentrated states
Furthermore, Nevada's foreclosure pace is down 4% from last year. This is a big deal because Nevada has long led the nation in foreclosure-related activity. Until last month, Nevada's year-to-year foreclosure rate hadn't fallen in more than 4 years.
It's too soon to say that the foreclosure market is drying up, but bargains are getting harder to come by. First-time buyers and bona fide investors alike have been snapping up property at a furious pace.
According to an industry trade group, distressed homes account for nearly one-third of home resale activity.
That said, buying foreclosures isn't for everyone.
For one, properties are often sold as-is and may be defective. The cost of repairs may negate “the deal” or “the steal” — depending on the cost of the home.
Secondly, closing on a foreclosed home can be a 3-month long process. This is because banks rarely process home sale paperwork as fast as a “person” would. A 3-month time frame may not fit your schedule.
In the end, fundamentally, buying a foreclosed home is the same as buying a “regular” home — there's a contract and a closing. Most of the steps in the middle, however, are different.
Read the complete foreclosure report and take a peek at the foreclosure heat maps on the RealtyTrac website. If you like what you see, talk to your real estate agent about what to do next.
There's still good deals in the foreclosure market, but based on October's data, they may not last through the winter.