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Foreclosure activity down yearly, continues strong decline

Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 10:52:02 AM

Over the past several years, homeowners have had an easier time making payments on their residential financing plans and holding onto their properties. 

Foreclosure filings declined on a year-over-year basis, according to recent data from RealtyTrac. While the total number - 131,232 U.S. properties in all - marked a slight uptick from August, the figures still indicate a positive trend and 36 consecutive months of annual decreases. 

The consistent drop in foreclosures began back in October 2010, and September's number of foreclosure filings also helped factor into the lowest quarterly amount since the middle of 2007.

"The September and third quarter foreclosure numbers show a housing market that is haltingly returning to health," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. "In a healthy housing market foreclosures are rare but streamlined while still protecting the rights of the homeowner. While foreclosures are clearly becoming fewer and farther between in most markets, the increasing time it takes to foreclose is holding back a more robust and sustainable recovery."

In addition, residential financing rates also held steady near historic lows, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.23 percent, nearly identical to last week's average of 4.22 percent. 

Overall, positive trends appear to continue for the housing market, which is a good sign for both buyers and sellers.