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Foreclosure auctions up statewide, locally

foreclosure chalkboardScheduled foreclosure auctions in November jumped 157 percent year over year in North Carolina, and 220 percent in Mecklenburg County, according to housing data provider RealtyTrac.

The state’s increase was the eighth-largest in the country, behind Nebraska, West Virginia, Mississippi, Maine, Montana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Statewide, the total number of foreclosure filings was up 137 percent from a year ago, and 8.7 percent compared with October. There was a foreclosure filing on one in every 1,051 housing units in North Carolina last month.

In Mecklenburg County, that number rose 4.4 percent from a year ago, but fell nearly 14 percent from October. One in every 727 housing units had a foreclosure filing last month.

Year over year, Ashe and Vance counties had the biggest increases in filings, at 3,300 percent. Both counties had 34 filings last month, up from one each in November 2013.

Nationally, foreclosure filings were down 1 percent last month from a year ago, and fell 8.6 percent when compared with October. Last month was the 50th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases in overall foreclosure activity.

Scheduled foreclosure auctions nationally were down 16.3 percent from October but up 5.3 percent from a year ago.

“The housing market is struggling to find the new normal when it comes to a tolerable level of foreclosure activity in this post-Great Recession economy,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “Finding that new normal requires striking a balance between too much loan risk, which would result in another housing meltdown, and too little risk, which could result in a stunted recovery.”

The company says foreclosure rates on loans originated in 2014 are higher than those originated in 2013 nationwide and in many markets, indicating that lenders are open to a slightly higher level of risk.

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