It’s been eight years since the housing crisis, where over five million homes were lost, and what marked the beginning of the American economy plunging into a deep recession.
On the surface, it appears that the housing market continues to recover, especially when looking at the statistics: there were 101,938 foreclosure filings in February 2015 or 1 in every 1,295, down 4% from revised January numbers in 2015, and representing a decrease of 9% for the same period last year, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac, a leading source for housing data.
While these numbers are at their lowest levels since 2008, there are still many areas in the United States which are plagued with foreclosures, including the states of Florida and Maryland.
It’s possible that these markets that continue to have high foreclosure rates will soon begin to turn around and be able to work through the final remnants of foreclosures left over from the housing crisis. Time will tell if these areas will finally attract investors and first-time buyers who don’t mind doing extensive renovations to own properties that are on the cheap and can possibly be flipped for major profits as the housing market continues to improve.
The foreclosure rate is based on the total number of properties entered into RealtyTrac’s database during the month. The company looked at how many homes filed for foreclosure, either with a default notice, a scheduled auction or bank repossession. The change in filing compares figures from February 2015 to those of the year prior.
While the housing market has seen a decrease in foreclosure rates nationally, there were 24 states that recorded an increase in foreclosure rates when comparing this year to the previous year.
Here are the ten highest foreclosure rates using data from February 2015:
Top 10 U.S. States With the Most Foreclosures
10. North Carolina*
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 1,088 housing units received a foreclosure notice
Change in filings from February 2014: +100.2%
RealityTrac changed the way it collected data in North Carolina, trying to expand on the areas that it included in its reports, which may mean that the change in filings might be a little less than 100% had they used the same collection method as 2014. Regardless, the data was high when compared to the national scale.
Additionally, North Carolina saw an 18% increase in Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (properties which have been foreclosed and then repurchased by a bank).
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 1,000 housing units received a foreclosure notice
Change in filings from February 2014: -5.9%
Ohio saw a 23 percent increase in REO properties, marking its third consecutive month with an increase. While it’s 9th on our list of states with the most foreclosures, Ohio saw a decrease in filings from February 2014, which can partly be explained by a drop in default notices.
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 957 housing units received a foreclosure notice
Change in filings from February 2014: +11.23%
While Delaware had a 2.88% decline in its foreclosure rate when compared to January 2015, the state has seen an overall increase when compared to February 2014. The increase is due to default notices, which has increased Delaware’s foreclosure rate to 11.23% as compared to the same time period in 2014. It should also be noted that because Delaware is sparsely populated when compared to other states, just a couple of new foreclosures notices can translate into huge foreclosure rate shifts.
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 906 housing units received a foreclosure notice
Change in filings from February 2014: -10.51%
The good news for Illinois is that foreclosure activity is down from last year. The bad news is that there has been an increase in foreclosure starts (when the mortgage company initiates the foreclosure processes), which would indicate that Illinois will continue to be on this list of top states with the highest foreclosure rates for the foreseeable future.
6. New Jersey
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 895 housing units received a foreclosure notice
Change in filings from February 2014: -17.21%
New Jersey was typically the second-highest foreclosure rate state in 2014, with a large increase in foreclosure activity last year. With it dropping to sixth on this list, it seems that the state may have finally turned things around, posting huge improvements with a decline of 17.21% as compared to last year.
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 877 housing units received a foreclosure notice
Change in filings from February 2014: +111.05%
Idaho is another state where RealityTrac tried to include additional areas, which may have skewed the data to make it slightly more negative when compared to last year.
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 871 housing units received a foreclosure notice
Change in filings from February 2014: +22.89%
Indiana saw a huge spike of foreclosure starts, representing an increase of 104.17% as compared to last year which explains why the state saw an overall increase in the change in filings.
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 570 housing units received a foreclosure notice
Change in filings from February 2014: -34.69%
Florida has typically owned the number one spot for 2013 and 2014 when it comes to states with the highest foreclosure rates. The fact that Florida is number three on the list and posting a decline of 34.69% when compared to last year, shows that the state may finally be building momentum in its recovery process, however as it’s still number three on the list, Florida still has a lot of work to do.
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 569 housing units received a foreclosure notice
Change in filings from February 2014: +11.84%
There’s a huge backlog of foreclosures in Nevada, as the state has seen a 30.6% decrease in completed foreclosures, however an increase of 153.29% in foreclosure starts, which is what has contributed to it being number 2 on this list.
Foreclosure rate: 1 in every 564 housing units received a foreclosure notice
Change in filings from February 2014: -0.87%
Maryland has typically been the number two or number three states as it continues to work through its large foreclosure inventory. However with the latest drops from New Jersey and Florida, Maryland has now earned the dubious honor of being at the top of this list.
Finding out whether a certain property is in foreclosure is relatively simple, it can even be done without leaving your desk chair. While buying a foreclosed property comes with some risks, it also can come with huge rewards, allowing you to buy a property for a relatively cheap price and then flipping it for a profit. With our real estate foreclosure search, you can sift through million of foreclosures, homes for sale and off market property reports instantly!