WASHINGTON, DC — The number of foreclosures in Virginia dropped remarkably in 2017 from 2005 when the nation edged toward a financial crisis later in the decade, according to a new report. The state of Virginia, when compared to all other states, is ranked 20th for its rate of foreclosure filings, the report shows. The District of Columbia is not ranked in the analysis, but its foreclosure rate rose sharply last year.
Nationally, foreclosure filings for 2017 fell 27 percent compared to 2016, reaching their lowest level since 2005, according to the report. There were 676,535 properties with foreclosure filings in 2017, a 76 percent drop from when such filings were at a peak during the housing crisis in 2010. In Virginia last year, there were 14,091 foreclosure proceedings filed, compared to 19,912 in 2016. In The District, there were 1,261 foreclosure proceedings filed last year, compared with 874 in 2016.
The properties with foreclosure filings in 2017 represented 0.51 percent of all U.S. housing units, according to ATTOM Data, a multi-sourced property database. When filings were at a peak during the housing crisis, they represented 2.23 percent of all U.S. housing units.
In 2017, lenders started the foreclosure process on 383,701 properties and 12,468 of those properties were in Virginia and 929 were in DC, according to the report. Virginia Beach City, Fairfax, Prince William, Norfolk City and Chesapeake City counties had the highest number of properties where the foreclosure process had started, according to the report. Nationally, 318,165 properties were scheduled for foreclosure auction in 2017 and 12,468 of those properties were in Virginia, with another 929 scheduled in the District of Columbia.
The state followed the national trend on foreclosure starts and auctions, seeing a decrease in both compared to 2016. Counter to the national trend, the District of Columbia and five states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in 2017, including Illinois (up 2 percent); Oklahoma (up 23 percent); Louisiana (up 2 percent); DC (up 54 percent); West Virginia (up 32 percent); and Vermont (up 27 percent).
Nationally, 50 percent of all loans actively in foreclosure at the end of 2017 originated between 2004 and 2008. Counter to the national trend, the District of Columbia and seven states posted a year-over-year increase in repossessions in 2017, led by New Jersey (19 percent increase to the highest level since 2006); Delaware (up 16 percent); Montana (up 12 percent); DC (up 10 percent); and Wyoming (up 10 percent).
New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland post top state foreclosure rates in 2017
States with the highest foreclosure rates in 2017 were New Jersey (1.61 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing); Delaware (1.13 percent); Maryland (0.95 percent); Illinois (0.86 percent); and Connecticut (0.78 percent). Rounding out the top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates were Florida (0.72 percent); South Carolina (0.70 percent); Ohio (0.70 percent); Nevada (0.67 percent); and New Mexico (0.63 percent).
Atlantic City, Trenton, Philadelphia post top metro foreclosure rates in 2017
Among 217 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, those with the highest foreclosure rates in 2017 were Atlantic City, New Jersey (2.72 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing); Trenton, New Jersey (1.68 percent); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1.26 percent); Fayetteville, North Carolina (1.17 percent); and Rockford, Illinois (1.14 percent).
Rounding out the top 10 were Cleveland, Ohio (1.06 percent); Columbia, South Carolina (1.05 percent); Baltimore, Maryland (1.05 percent); Chicago, Illinois (1.04 percent); and Albuquerque, New Mexico (0.99 percent).
South Dakota, North Dakota, West Virginia, Montana and Mississippi had the lowest rates of foreclosure filings in the U.S. for 2017, according to the report.
"Thanks to a housing boom driven primarily by a scarcity of supply, which has helped to limit home purchases to the most highly qualified — and low-risk — borrowers, the U.S. housing market has the luxury of playing a version of foreclosure limbo in which it searches for how low foreclosures can go," Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, said in a press release.
The report is based on publicly recorded and published foreclosure filings collected from more than 2,500 counties nationwide.