The distressed market continues to brighten as the housing sector becomes healthier.<@SM>Bank REOs increased the most from a year ago in Iowa and Maryland, followed by the East Coast states of Main and New York. Oregon and California were also in the top 10 states for yearly REO increases. ***Chart courtesy of RealtyTrac.


IRVINE, CA—A total of 26,889 US residential properties were repossessed by lenders via foreclosure in June, a figure that is down 5% from the previous month and 24% from a year ago, according to a report from RealtyTrac. The current REO rate is at its lowest level since June 2007, which marks a seven-year low.

As reported last week, total US residential foreclosure activity decreased during the month of June by 2% from the previous month and was down 16% from a year ago to the lowest level since July 2006, according to a the report. US properties with foreclosure filings in the first half of 2014 decreased 19% from the previous six months and 23% from the first half of 2013.

Still, the news wasn’t good for all states. Lender repossessions in June increased from the previous month in 16 states and were up from a year ago in 12 states, including Iowa, Maryland, New York, Oregon, California, Illinois and New Jersey.

Halfway through the year, a total of 174,691 US properties have been repossessed by lenders via foreclosure, on pace to reach nearly 350,000 for the year—another positive, since this figure would be down from the 462,970 lender repossessions that took place all last year. According to Chris Pollinger, SVP of sales at First Team Real Estate, which covers the Southern California market, “Distressed properties continue to wane as more-traditional sellers find their way into the housing market and home prices continue to rise.”