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What do the latest mortgage foreclosure numbers tell us?

The health of any given real estate market is a localized concern, but one theme that was persistent throughout the country over the last several years, was the increase in the number of foreclosures. When the Florida and national economy took a nosedive, there was no place to hide, and the housing market suffered the brunt of the negative consequences. Millions of Americans lost their homes, and their lives were changed forever.

The national housing market still has a long way to go before it fully recovers from that epic "bubble" burst, but every once in a while, there is a sign that things may be getting better. For instance, a recent report noted that in June of this year, there was a 9.9% decrease in the number of completed foreclosures, when compared to the numbers from June of last year. That is a significant decrease, and, hopefully, it is the beginning of a trend.

Nonetheless, as always, there was a bit of bad news in the report as well. The foreclosure numbers actually showed an increase in completed foreclosures from May to June of this year, an increase of 2.7%. In addition, it is quite easy to point out that, even when there is a substantial decrease on a year-over-year basis, as the market recovers, the number of foreclosures that are occurring on a monthly basis are still double the rate prior to the economic downturn.

So, while the national real estate market may be at a slow crawl on the way to recovery, there are still millions of Americans who are struggling with their monthly mortgage payment. Foreclosure is still a real threat for many homeowners, and it looks like it will be quite some time before the foreclosure numbers return to a more normalized rate.

Source: National Mortgage Professional Magazine, "Foreclosures For Month of June Down, Year Over Year," July 31, 2014

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