Monthly Foreclosure Rate Drops

Nationwide, foreclosures fell 12 percent in September 2008

According to foreclosure-tracking service RealtyTrac, the foreclosure rate is falling nationwide. 

Versus August, foreclosures fell by 12 percent in September 2008 as more than half of the states showed month-over-month improvement. 

Most interesting in the data is that several states that led the foreclosure boom in 2007 now appear to be leading the charge out of it.

For example:

  • In Arizona, foreclosures are down 9.43 percent
  • In California, foreclosures are down 31.64 percent
  • In Colorado, foreclosures are down 6.22 percent
  • In Illinois, foreclosures are down 5.14 percent
  • In Michigan, foreclosures are down 22.43 percent

But despite September's promising data, the press is choosing to report that foreclosures are up 71 percent over the same period last year.  The data is accurate, but not necessarily relevant. 

When home buyers and sellers engage real estate markets, they rarely think in annual terms.  For them, it's about buying or selling this month, or next month, or the month after that.  When someone is "in" the market, their mentality is "right now".

In other words, annual data is more befitting of an economist, while month-to-month data is more befitting of you.  Of course foreclosures are up 71 percent since last year -- a lot has happened since then.  But on a monthly basis, signals point to improvement.

September's foreclosure data may be a signal of market recovery, or it may just be a blip.  Time will tell, really.  Either way, RealtyTrac's foreclosure data reinforces what most real estate professionals already know and that's that markets all over the country are showing signs of life.

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