Blomquist: u201cCold weather and a short month certainly contributed to a seasonal drop in foreclosure activity in February.u201d<@SM>All types of US foreclosure activityu2014default, auction and REO, are down to their lowest levels in several years.<@SM>Foreclosure activity in New Jersey is approaching the levels seen before robosigning became prominent. ***Charts courtesy of RealtyTrac.


IRVINE, CA—Foreclosure activity on residential properties continues to decline nationwide, according to a report from RealtyTrac. The report shows that foreclosure filings were reported on 112,498 US properties in February, a 10% decrease from January and down 27% from February 2013 to the lowest monthly total since December 2006. The new figure is a more-than-seven-year low, says RealtyTrac.

According to Daren Blomquist, VP of RealtyTrac, “cold weather and a short month certainly contributed to a seasonal drop in foreclosure activity in February, the reality is that new activity is no longer the biggest threat to the housing market when it comes to foreclosures.”

The report also shows that after a 10% month-over-month jump in January, US foreclosure starts retreated to their lowest level since December 2005, a 98-month low. Also, a total of 51,842 US properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in February, down 9% from the previous month and down 27% from a year ago.

Counter to the national trend, February foreclosure starts increased from a year ago in 14 states, including New Jersey. In that state, foreclosure starts increased 126% from a year ago, boosting the state’s foreclosure rate to fourth highest in the nation, its highest foreclosure-rate ranking since October 2005.

For the complete report, click here.

As reported last week, all-cash purchases of residential properties nationwide are continuing to rise, according to RealtyTrac. The firm reports that all-cash sales accounted for 44.4% of all US residential sales in January, the 7th consecutive month where all-cash sales have been above the 35% level. Metro areas with the highest percentage of all-cash sales last month included Miami; Jacksonville, FL; Memphis; Tampa; and Las Vegas.