Foreclosure activity in May down 33 percent from a year ago; buyer interest cools

RealtyTrac released their foreclosure report this morning for May 2011 which shows foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled foreclosures and bank REO’s) were reported on 214,927 homes in May which is a 2 percent decrease from the month before and a 33 percent decrease from May 2010.

“Foreclosure processing delays continue to mask the true face of the foreclosure situation, although there were some clues in the May numbers of what lies behind that mask,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “First, activity spiked in May for various stages of the foreclosure process in some states, a pattern that has occurred in several states over the past few months. This pattern provides evidence that lenders are somewhat unevenly pushing batches of bad loans through foreclosure as they overhaul their paperwork and documentation procedures and as they determine that some local markets are able to absorb more foreclosure inventory.

“Second, while the inventory of properties in the foreclosure process has declined steadily over the past six months — thanks in large part to 16 consecutive months of year-over-year declines in new default notices — the inventory of unsold bank-owned REOs increased in April and May even as new REO activity slowed in both of those months,” Saccacio continued. “That points to continued weak demand from buyers, making it tough for lenders to unload their REO inventory. Even at a significantly lower level than a year ago, the new supply of REOs exceeds the amount being sold each month.”

St. Louis Area Foreclosures for Sale:

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