Foreclosure filings in the U.S. rose to a record for the second consecutive month in April as banks increased efforts to seize homes from delinquent borrowers.
A total of 342,038 properties received a default or auction notice or were seized last month, RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine, California, said today in a statement. One in 374 households got a filing, the highest monthly rate since the property data service began issuing such reports in 2005.
“What you’re seeing is the inevitable result of severe job losses,” Nicolas Retsinas, director of housing studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said in an interview. “Until we stem the job losses, we can expect to see continuing foreclosures.”
Unemployment is hampering the housing market as property prices fall. The U.S. jobless rate rose to 8.9 percent, the highest in more than a quarter century, the Labor Department said May 9. Home prices fell the most on record in the first quarter to a median $169,000 amid sales of foreclosure properties, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday.
Foreclosure filings jumped 32 percent from the year-earlier period, RealtyTrac said. Filings were little changed from March as some states delayed seizures. Ten states accounted for three- quarters of all foreclosures in April, with California leading the nation.