Blomquist: u201cJuly was the 46th consecutive month where US foreclosure activity was down on a year-over-year basis.u201d<@SM>After more than two years of year-over-year decreases, Houston metro's annual foreclosure starts shot up by nearly 120% in July.<@SM>The Washington metro area has seen some spikes in foreclosure activity in the past year, but July's was not the highest.

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IRVINE, CA—US residential foreclosure filings increased 2% in July from the previous month, but are still down 16% from a year ago, according to a report from RealtyTrac. Foreclosure filings were reported on 109,434 US properties in July, and one in every 1,203 US housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month, the firm reports.

The findings essentially erase the foreclosure gains seen in June. As GlobeSt.com reported last month, 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 report from RealtyTrac. 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.

According to Daren Blomquist, VP of RealtyTrac, “July was the 46th consecutive month where US foreclosure activity was down on a year-over-year basis. After nearly four years of falling foreclosures, we are starting to see evidence that foreclosure numbers are normalizing at the national level. The 16% decrease in July was exactly half the annual decrease we saw a year ago in July 2013, when US foreclosure activity was down 32% on a year-over-year basis.”

Blomquist adds the number of state and local markets with persistent foreclosure problems is becoming fewer and farther between, “although there were some surprise spikes in foreclosure activity in July market that had previous been experiencing long-term downward trends in foreclosure activity. For example, Houston foreclosure activity jumped 66% in July compared to a year ago following 23 consecutive months of decreases, and Los Angeles foreclosure activity was up 10% from a year ago following 31 consecutive months of decreases.”

Stay tuned to GlobeSt.com for an update on why Blomquist believes Southern California is one of the markets that has been bucking the trend of decreasing foreclosure activity nationwide.

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