Foreclosure activity continues to slow.
According to RealtyTrac, a national foreclosure-tracking firm, the number of foreclosure filings nationwide fell 35 percent as compared to July 2010, a statistic suggesting that the housing market continues to improve.
"Foreclosure filing" is a catch-all term encompassing default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.
Filings fell to a 44-month low in July 2011.
For all the improvement, though, activity remains concentrated in just a few states. More than half of all bank repossessions last month occurred in just a handful of states.
In July, 6 states accounted for 52% of activity.
- California : 19% of all repossessions
- Georgia : 8% of all repossessions
- Florida : 7% of all repossessions
- Texas : 6% of all repossessions
- Michigan : 6% of all repossessions
- Arizona : 6% of all repossessions
At the other end of the spectrum is Vermont. With just 11 repossessions for all of July, Vermont accounted for 0.016% of repossessions nationwide.
Distressed homes are in high demand with today's home buyers. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, they account for 30% of all home resales. That's no surprise, either.
Distressed homes typically sell at 20 percent discounts as compared to non-distressed ones.
But, if buying a foreclosure is in your agenda, be sure to do your homework. Buying bank-owned homes is different from buying from "people". The contracts are different, the negotiations are different, and the homes are sometimes sold with defects.
If you plan to purchase a foreclosure , therefore, be sure to speak with a licensed real estate agent first. There's plenty of available information online but when it's time to buy, have an experienced agent on your side.