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Foreclosures fall to 8-year low in May: RealtyTrac
IRVINE, Calif. (6/12/14)--Foreclosure activity in the U.S. sank to an eight-year low in May, according to RealtyTrac, a leading housing market data firm, as lenders have reclaimed fewer and fewer homes with every passing month (CNBC.com June 10).

Nearly 110,000 properties across the country toiled in the foreclosure process last month, according to the numbers, which is a 5% decline from the previous month, and 26% below levels seen in May of last year.

May also represented the 44th straight month in which foreclosure activity had fallen on a year-over-year basis. Foreclosure activity encompasses foreclosure notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.

"This is showing that foreclosures are fading further into the rear-view mirror in most places," Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president told Reuters. "This is good news for the housing market."

Institutions reclaimed 28,373 properties in May, a 6% drop from April and the lowest number since July 2007, according to RealtyTrac. Repossessions have plummeted 27% year-over-year as well.

Foreclosure starts fell 10% between April and May, and have dropped 32% year-over-year. Starts now sit at their lowest mark since December 2005.

Florida continues to post the highest rate of foreclosures, with one in every 436 homes somewhere in the process, followed by Maryland, Nevada and Illinois.

Blomquist said he believes foreclosures will continue to decline through the fall.

Meanwhile, mortgage applications swelled for the week ending June 6, according to numbers by the Mortgage Bankers Associations' mortgage application survey, with purchase activity rising 9.3% and refinancing 11%.

Though, analysts say the climb was largely influenced by a slow prior week due to Memorial Day.

During Memorial Day week, purchase and refinance activity dropped sharply at 14% and 13% respectively. Both categories remain historically low, according to Moody's (Economy.com June 11).
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