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Foreclosure Activity May Have Peaked for Year

  Real Estate  -   POSTED: 2007/12/19 12:06

Foreclosure filings for November surged 68% from a year ago but dropped 10% from October, another sign that foreclosure activity overall may have peaked for the year, a foreclosure-listing service said.

RealtyTrac Inc. Chief Executive James J. Saccacio said that November's 10% drop from October was the first double-digit monthly decrease observed since April 2006.

The sequential decline "could indicate that foreclosure activity has topped out for the year, but the true test of whether this ceiling will hold will come at the beginning of next year -- when we anticipate that a seasonal surge in foreclosure filings and another possible wave of resetting mortgages could place further pressure on the housing market," Mr. Saccacio said.

According to RealtyTrac, based in Irvine, Calif., a total of 201,950 foreclosure filings -- default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions -- were reported during November. The national foreclosure rate for the month was one foreclosure filing for every 617 households.

Nevada had the nation's top state foreclosure rate for the 11th straight month, chalking up one foreclosure filing for every 152 households -- more than four times the national average. Trailing Nevada were Florida, with one foreclosure filing for every 282 households, and Ohio with one filing for every 307 households. Rounding out the top five were Colorado and California.

California led all states in foreclosure totals, with 39,992. Behind California were Florida, Ohio, Texas and Michigan.

California cities accounted for five of the nation's top metro foreclosure rates in November, one fewer than in the previous month. Stockton took the top spot, with one foreclosure filing for every 99 households -- more than six times the national average. Modesto took the No. 2 spot, with one foreclosure filing for every 104 households. Merced took No. 3, with one foreclosure filing for every 106 households. Other California cities in the top 10 were Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 6 and Riverside-San Bernardino at No. 9. Las Vegas was fourth, Detroit fifth.

Last month, RealtyTrac provided statistics showing foreclosure filings for October zoomed 94% from a year ago but rose 2% from September. Mr. Saccacio said then the modest sequential rise suggested that foreclosure activity in general had "leveled off" since peaking in August at 243,947 filings.


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