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America's foreclosure statistics are muddled still

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By : John Smith    99 or more times read
Although the actual foreclosure rate still trended up, average front-end American foreclosure activity dropped nationwide in April 2010.

But, did this signal a real improvement, or just another tread reached on an upstairs ladder?

At least one data tracking firm believes that it’s another false spring, with unemployment and loan modifications simply serving to delay the inevitable return to pre-HAMP days.

But, again, the April 2010 rate of default servings did fall 9% from March, and 2% year on year too. Is this merely the slowing down of Shylock Lenders, who will be returning for their pound of flesh later?

The raw data reports as follows:

  • Property mortgage lenders served defaults on over 103,000 American households in April 2010 – this was 12% down month-on-month, and 27% down year-on-year.

  • During the same period, lenders assumed control over 92,432 homes (a record, up 1% from March, and 45 % year-on-year.

  • To put matters in perspective, 1 in 387 American homes received foreclosure notices during 2010.

It is clear that the American property market is still unsure which way to turn. While troubled borrowers have started tapping Federal grants, the majority are still heading for foreclosure.

  • 2.8 million American property owners were handed a foreclosure notice during 2010.

  • A million properties are somewhere in the pipeline still, with a further 5 million serious delinquencies stacking up.

  • Almost 138,000 foreclosure auctions were posted during April 2010 – this was 13% down on March but 1% up from April the previous year.

Most analysts suggest that numbers will remain high for a while still, as banks and foreclosure courts work through their backlogs. Meanwhile, foreclosure action is down in 9 of the top 10 metro areas year-on-year, with larger cities in Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona still dominating. Las Vegas had the highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 60 housing units being filed, although actions did fall 3 percent compared to April the previous year.

The five most troubled States continue to be California, Florida, Michigan, Illinois and Nevada – between them they accounted for 52% of foreclosure actions nationwide in April. California was worst, with 69,725 properties being filed (down 25% from March, and 28% compared to the previous year).

These skewed results seem to indicate that the American property market shares mixed fortunes within itself – but that, at least, the question is not will it turn, but, when will this happen?
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