Rather than an expected and feared wave of repossessions, lenders reined in new foreclosure filings in December.
2021 Ended with Fewest Foreclosures on Record
Foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions) during 2021 dropped -29% from 2020 and plummeted -95% from a peak of nearly 2.9M in 2010, to the lowest level ever since ATTOM began tracking foreclosure activity in 2005, according to ATTOM’s and its subsidiary company Realtytrac’s Year-End 2021 US Foreclosure Market Report.
The 151,153 properties with foreclosure filings in 2021 accounted for 0.11% of all housing units in the US. This 0.11% in 2021 was down from 0.16% in 2020 and down from the foreclosure peak of 2.223% of all housing units in 2010.
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ATTOM’s year-end foreclosure report tracked more than 3,000 counties nationwide and more than 99% of the US population.
Month-to-Month Foreclosure Data
This latest foreclosure report from ATTOM indicated that for December 2021, 17,971 properties had foreclosure filings, -8% of foreclosure filings in November.
According to Rick Sharga, executive vice president with RealtyTrac, “The COVID-19 foreclosure tsunami that some people had anticipated is clearly not happening. Government and mortgage industry efforts have prevented millions of unnecessary foreclosures, and while it’s likely that we’ll see a slight increase in the first quarter (of 2022), we probably won’t see foreclosure activity back to normal levels before the end of 2022.”
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Bank Repossessions Decreased -98% Since Peak in 2010
Lenders repossessed 25,662 properties via foreclosure (REO) during 2021, down -49% from 2020.
Sharga said, “We believe that repossessions will continue to be lower than normal throughout 2022. Homeowners have a record amount of equity – over $223T – and over 87% of homeowners in foreclosure have positive equity. This means that most borrowers will have an opportunity to sell their house at a profit rather than lose everything to a foreclosure auction.”
States with Highest Numbers of REOs in 2021
- Illinois – 3,472 REOs
- Florida – 1,733 REOs
- California – 1,839 REOs
- Pennsylvania – 1,293 REOs
- Texas – 1.236 REOs
Metros with Populations of More Than 1M with Most REOs in 2021
- Chicago IL – 1,733 REOs
- Louis MO – 1,255 REOs
- New York NY – 814 REOs
- Baltimore MD – 571 REOs
- Philadelphia PA – 471 REOs
Thanks to ATTOM.