By Ashley Heffernan
Published Sept. 17, 2015
Home foreclosure filings were down about 6% in August across the U.S. compared to August 2014.
RealtyTrac reported that 239 homes were in the foreclosure process last month in Richland County. That’s down more than 5% from July but nearly 11% greater than August 2014. In Lexington County, there were 196 foreclosure filings in August, an increase of 2.6% over July but down nearly 14% from August 2014.
Foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, were reported on almost 110,000 U.S. properties last month. Foreclosures were started in August on about 45,000 homes, which is down nearly 19% from August 2014, and almost 37,000 foreclosures were completed, which is up almost 40%, RealtyTrac said.
“Foreclosure starts in August continued to search for a new floor below even pre-recession levels, indicating the housing recovery of the past three years is built on a solid financing foundation,” RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said in a statement. “But the continued rise in bank repossessions indicates more batches of bank-owned homes will be rippling through the housing market over the next three to 12 months as lenders list these properties for sale.”
Blomquist said the extra bank-owned properties may be good news for housing markets that lack enough inventory. But he warned buyers and investors interested in purchasing those homes about possible deferred maintenance issues.
“The average estimated market value of REO (repossessed by lenders through foreclosure) properties nationwide is now 33% below the average market value of non-distressed properties, and homes that were repossessed in the second quarter of this year on average had been languishing in the foreclosure process for 629 days,” he said in a statement.
In South Carolina, 2,485 homes were in the foreclosure process last month. That equates to about one in every 863 homes in the state, according to RealtyTrac. Nearly 1,100 foreclosures were started last month, while just more than 450 were completed, the company said.
Foreclosure filings data for S.C. counties
1 in every X housing units
% change from July