Charlotte area foreclosures were up in the third quarter compared to the second quarter – as well as the third quarter of 2013, according to RealtyTrac. In monthly comparisons, the number of homes in some stage of foreclosure was down slightly, 6.72 percent, in September compared with August, but up 47 percent compared with September 2013.
There are 737,307 housing units in the Charlotte metropolitan statistical area, which includes Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Rowan, Iredell, Lincoln, Gaston and Union counties as well as Lancaster, York and Chester counties in South Carolina. Of those housing units, 1,041 were in some stage of foreclosure in September.
Nationally, foreclosure activity was up 0.42 percent quarterly for the first time since the third quarter of 2011, driven primarily by a 2 percent increase in notices of default and a 7 percent increase in scheduled foreclosure auctions. Bank repossessions, however, decreased 12 percent from the previous quarter.
“September foreclosure activity was back to pre-housing bubble levels nationwide, in large part thanks to a continued slide in bank repossessions,” said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president. “However, a recent rise in scheduled foreclosure auctions in many markets across the country shows lenders are continuing to clean house of lingering delinquent loans. This rise in scheduled auctions foreshadows a corresponding rise in bank repossessions and auction sales to third-party buyers in the coming months.”
In an email, Blomquist said that 72 percent of Charlotte-area mortgages actively in foreclosure originated in 2008 or earlier. For the state, that share was 64 percent.
“This is a strong indication that the bulk of the foreclosure problem in the metro area ties back to the last housing bubble rather than being a brand-new foreclosure problem,” he wrote.
In the Charlotte MSA, notices of default were up 50.3 percent quarter over quarter and 147.5 percent over third quarter 2013. They were up 7.3 percent monthly and 123.1 percent over September 2013. Blomquist cautioned that “part of the increase is due to improved data collection in North Carolina” by RealtyTrac, a California-based real estate data and analytics firm.
North Carolina was one of 10 states in which the number of default notices increased in the third quarter compared with last year.
The state was also tied, with Oregon, for the greatest increase – 85 percent – in scheduled foreclosures when comparing the third quarter to the same period a year ago.
Scheduled auctions in the Charlotte area were up 7.4 percent quarterly and 22.3 percent over the same quarter in 2013, which Blomquist said was the first time in six quarters that the number of scheduled auctions was higher than the comparable quarter the previous year. They were down 29.1 percent from August 2014 and up 56.1 percent year over year.
Blomquist said the company’s methods for collecting that data has been consistent for many years.
Properties that reverted to bank ownership after auction declined 13.0 percent in the third quarter compared to the second, and by 55.3 percent compared with third quarter 2013. They declined 2 percent in September compared with August, and 50 percent from September 2013.
Blomquist said that the increase in North Carolina properties in the early stages of foreclosure is likely due to “a change made to a law affecting foreclosure processing back in July (that) has clarified for lenders how they can properly foreclose.” On July 7, Gov. Pat McCrory signed an amendment to the Planned Community Act that clarified a portion of the process of transferring property ownership during foreclosure.