Let’s expand on our preview of foreclosure activity with a more detailed look at May’s stats in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. First up, the Notice of Trustee Sale summary:
King: 1,096 NTS, up 10.5% YOY
Snohomish: 593 NTS, up 16.0% YOY
Pierce: 740 NTS, up 1.9% YOY
Here’s your interactive Tableau dashboard updated with the latest foreclosure data:
Foreclosures dropped month-to-month in King and Snohomish counties, but rose slightly in Pierce. Despite the declines in King and Snohomish, the number of foreclosures remains higher than any time prior to 2010, except for the brief legislation-induced spike last summer.
The percentage of households in the chart above is determined using OFM population estimates and household sizes from the 2000 Census. King County came in at 1 NTS per 742 households, Snohomish County had 1 NTS per 453 households, and Pierce had 1 NTS for every 427 households (higher is better).
According to foreclosure tracking company RealtyTrac, Washington’s statewide foreclosure rate for May of one foreclosure for every 574 housing units was 20th worst among the 50 states and the District of Columbia (up from 24th in April and 32nd in March). Note that RealtyTrac’s definition of “in foreclosure” is much broader than what we are using, and includes Notice of Default, Lis Pendens, Notice of Trustee Sale, and Real Estate Owned.
Hit the jump for a larger version of the chart that shows the percentage of households in each county receiving a foreclosure notice each month:
I’ve been reading a lot of predictions the last few months that foreclosures are set to begin another big ramp up. While the overall year-to-year trend is still increasing here in the Seattle area, we are backing off of the big spike in March, and have yet to see a new surge materialize.
With purchasing demand taking a big hit post-tax-credit, I expect there will be renewed downward pressure on home prices through the end of this year, which will likely lead to foreclosures remaining highly elevated for quite some time.
Note: The graphs above are derived from monthly Notice of Trustee Sale counts gathered at King, Snohomish, and Pierce County records. For a longer-term picture of King County foreclosures back to 1979, hit this chart and drag the date slider to its full range. For the full legal definition of what a Notice of Trustee Sale is and how it fits into the foreclosure process, check out RCW 61.24.040. The short version is that it is the notice sent to delinquent borrowers that their home will be repossessed in 90 days.