According to CoreLogic, a total of 54,000 foreclosures were completed in the U.S. in February 2013. That was down 19% from one year earlier, and was the smallest nationwide number since September 2007. This is great news for all of us.
The report also lists the five states with the highest foreclosure inventory: Florida (9.9%), New Jersey (7.2%), New York (5.0%), Nevada (4.6%), and Illinois (4.5%).
A few days ago I wrote about a RealtyTrac report and compared the Austin metropolitan area to Panama City, Florida — the city in that report with the least number of foreclosures last year. Here’s a somewhat broader comparison:
Foreclosure sales in the 5-county Austin metro area accounted for a total of 11% of all residential sales in 2012. That is substantially less than the national average of 19% in the 3rd quarter of 2012. More important, though, is the fact that 2013 should see even fewer foreclosure sales: out of a total 5,614 active residential listings today, just 204 — 3.6% — are foreclosed properties.
Nationwide improvement in the housing picture is certainly welcome, and it will buoy local real estate markets all over the country — even those that have not suffered as much as others through the downturn. As you consider buying or selling in Austin, though, please keep in mind that not all local markets are alike, and buyers and sellers here are likely to behave differently than those still working through substantial, and growing, foreclosure inventory.