The national foreclosure rate is finally falling.
According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac.com, the number of foreclosure notices dropped 2 percent between April 2009 and April 2010.
2 percent may not seem like much, but it’s the first time in the history of the RealtyTrac report that the annual foreclosure rate has dropped.
To be sure, foreclosure rates remain elevated — more than 300,000 were reported last month, but default notices appear to be approaching a plateau.
The RealtyTrac report shows some other interesting statistics, too:
- 6 states accounted for more than half of April’s bank repossessions nationwide
- For the 40th month in a row, Nevada topped the nation’s foreclosure rate
- Foreclosure rates dropped in both California and Arizona, 2 foreclosure hot-spots through 2009
The good news for housing doesn’t stop there. 9 of the top 10 leading metropolitan areas for foreclosure-related activity showed a drop in annual activity. Only Reno, Nevada showed an increase.
Buying distressed homes is big business, according to the National Association of Realtors®, accounting for 35 percent of all home resales with a typical discount ranging near 15 percent on value.
But with the discount comes some caution. You need to know how buying a foreclosed can be different from buying a non-foreclosed home.
For example, distressed properties are often sold as-is and may have defects that render them “un-lendable”. Secondly, “quick closings” aren’t usually possible with bank-owned homes — you’re often at the bank’s schedule and mercy.
And, lastly, not all foreclosed homes are searchable online. You’ll usually find more stock if you work with a real estate agent versus searching online.
The RealtyTrac foreclosure report is thorough and can help you gauge what’s happening on a state-by-state level, and in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. Once you’ve done your research, talk to your real estate agent about what to do next.
There’s still good deals in the foreclosure market — you just have to know where to find them.