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Foreclosure activity highlights problems in U.S. housing market

Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 9:45:55 AM

While the U.S. housing market has been trending in the right direction, there are still a number of problems in many different regions across the country. According to a recent report by RealtyTrac, foreclosure activity has increased on a monthly basis in January, while the year-over-year rate of decline slowed significantly. 

"The monthly increase in January foreclosure activity was somewhat expected after a holiday lull, but the sharp annual increases in some states shows that many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

Overall, foreclosure filings for January rose 8 percent month-over-month, and the annual decline was only 18 percent, the smallest that number has been since 2012, RealtyTrac reported. Starts ticked up substantially in several states, including Maryland, Connecticut and New Jersey. 

However, this could be an opportunity for other buyers interested in residential financing. According to The Wall Street Journal, homebuyers have traditionally found deals in distressed properties across the country. In fact, bidding wars have even been known to occur in certain segments. Even so, it is important for potential buyers to make sure that the condition of their properties is in good enough shape - some have been known to require expensive repairs to upgrade into living condition.