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Fewer Homes Entered the Foreclosure Market in February

Foreclosures are everywhere, especially here in Florida, a state with one of the highest rates of foreclosure in the country. But ever since the depths of the recession, the housing market overall has improved – and that trend is true for foreclosures, too.

According to statistics provided by RealtyTrac, 10 percent fewer foreclosure filings were filed in February than in January of this year. That number is 27 percent lower than what was reported in February 2013, which is strong evidence that the housing market – including foreclosures – is improving.

This figure also includes ‘zombie’ foreclosures, or homes that were abandoned by the owner instead of being repossessed by the bank. Close to 21 percent of all homes that are in the foreclosure process are zombie foreclosures, and these homes have been in the pipeline for an average of 1,031 days.

Florida actually leads the nation when it comes to owner-vacated homes. The state has 54,908 homes, which is just over 36 percent of all such homes in the nation. Our state also had one of the longest average times for homes in the process, at 1,095 days. That is a testament to the judicial foreclosure laws we have here, although the state government has made some attempts to shorten the amount of time each home spends in the process.

In a bit of good news, though, foreclosure starts are at their lowest since December 2005, before housing market crash hit. This is further evidence that the housing market across the country continues to improve, and is headed back to pre-recession levels for many different statistics.