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November foreclosure filings down sharply, but more pain to come

  • Blog Post by: Jim Buchta
  • December 15, 2011 - 1:06 PM

 

Foreclosure filings in Minnesota were down significantly last month, but no one is celebrating. In its latest report RealtyTrac said that filings in the state fell 15 percent from October, but were down almost 20 percent compared with last year. Across the country, one in every 579 housing units was in foreclosure compared with one for every 901 housing units in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s declines were significantly higher than the national average, but experts are wary about attributing them to anything more than delays in the way defaults have been processed. In fact, only modest month-to-month declines in default notices suggest that the number of houses that will go through a foreclosure auction down the road will increase.

Nationwide delinquency notices were down only 3 percent from the previous month and down 14 percent compared with November 2010. That annual decline was the smallest in more than a year. These default notices are a critical bellwether of a recovery. Though home sales have been increasing in many parts of the country, including Minnesota, there won’t be any upward pressure on prices until the number of distressed sales decreases significantly.

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