Foreclosures fall 19% in Toledo

Firm says data give strong evidence housing crisis is near end


Foreclosure-related activity in metro Toledo decreased by 19 percent in November from the same period a year ago, and by nearly 6 percent from October, echoing a national trend that may signal a potential end to the foreclosure crisis caused by the last recession.

New figures released Wednesday by real estate data firm RealtyTrac Inc. showed a total of 587 properties, or one for every 513 properties, were in some state of foreclosure — a default notice, a scheduled auction, or a bank repossession — last month in a four-county metro area that includes Lucas, Wood, Fulton, and Ottawa counties.

That compared with 725 properties involved in foreclosure activity in November, 2012, and 624 properties in October. The dropoff in foreclosures reversed a disappointing October that saw Toledo area foreclosure activity rise slightly after decreasing for much of 2013.

Overall in Ohio, foreclosure activity decreased nearly 40 percent in November from a year ago, and nationwide activity was down over 37 percent from November, 2012.

“While some of the decrease in November can be attributed to seasonality, the depth and breadth of the decrease provides strong evidence that we are entering the ninth inning of this foreclosure crisis with the outcome all but guaranteed,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, which is based in Irvine, Calif.

“While foreclosures will likely continue to stage a weak rally in certain markets next year as the last of the distress left over from the Great Recession is dealt with, it is highly unlikely that there will be a foreclosure comeback that poses any major threat to the solid housing recovery that has now taken hold,” Mr. Blomquist added.

Ohio had 6,761 homes in the foreclosure process in November, or one for every 757 homes. Ohio ranked sixth nationally for states with the highest foreclosure problem.

“Most of the shadow inventory has been worked through in the Ohio housing market, and this inventory is being absorbed quickly,” said Michael Mahon, executive vice president and a broker at Ohio’s HER Realtors, which covers the Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati markets. “The decreasing amount of time it’s taking for properties to go through the foreclosure process is enabling lenders to keep properties in more stabilized conditions, which attracts higher prices and has assisted in creating moderate increases in appraised home values throughout the state.”

Michigan ranked 16th in foreclosure activity with 3,434 homes in various stages, or one for every 1,320 homes.

Nationally, 113,454 homes were in foreclosure, or one for every 1,155 homes. The rate was down 15 percent from October.