Foreclosures Dip Back Down in September

It’s time once again to expand on our preview of foreclosure activity with a more detailed look at August’s stats in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. First up, the Notice of Trustee Sale summary:

September 2012
King: 844 NTS, up 69.1% YOY
Snohomish: 474 NTS, up 83.0% YOY
Pierce: 658 NTS, up 107.6% YOY

Although the year-over-year numbers went up again in all three counties, foreclosures actually dipped down quite a bit from August.

Here’s your interactive Tableau dashboard updated with the latest foreclosure data:

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 992 households, Snohomish County had 1 NTS per 582 households, and Pierce had 1 NTS for every 492 households (higher is better).

According to foreclosure tracking company RealtyTrac, Washington’s statewide foreclosure rate for August of one foreclosure for every 261 housing units was 13th highest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. 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:

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.

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.


  1. 1
    The Tim says:

    I apologize, I have no idea how the “allow comments” box got unchecked on this post.

  2. 2

    I was going to say that this was the first downturn which couldn’t possibly be attributed to a change in legislation. That’s true, but it’s somewhat possible that this downturn is due to the Bain v. Mers decision by the Washington Supreme Court. I’ve not seen or heard any such reaction, but you would think there would be some.

  3. 3
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2

    Yes Kary

    From my periscope the current 2012 foreclosure legal mess is a witches brew of MERS, ROBO SIGNING, outright fraud/neglect, etc, etc….with the NY AG piling Salem Witch trial rocks on the four biggest banksters (B of A included), affecting a delay in foreclosures for the whole country.

    I was talking to a friend of mine and he thought it may well be best and humane to delay evictions and let ’em live rent free, for even 4 year periods….at least the unstaged homes are kept up that way on the waiting block. I reminded him of President Johnson’s Great Society labratory test, where we gave much of the poor free housing and they destoyed a lion’s share of it in a matter of a few years anyway.

    IMO, any delayed in FC’d units, due to this on-going nationwide 2012 litigation foreclosure delays, will eventually impact Seattle home prices adversely, when they finally get on the normal market [they all will eventually]. Who’s gonna put the stage money into wrecks that could likely be better remodeled with a bulldozer and start all over again. My prove is what is happenned and what is happenning in Detroit.

  4. 4

    Going back ten years, the September NTS numbers in King County were lower than the August numbers four out of ten times. I’m not sure what it indicates. In 2003, the number of September NTS numbers were 20% higher in September than in August. In 2011 there was a significant drop in NTS numbers from August to September, a drop of over 30%, but there was a significant rise in NTS numbers after that, and the September numbers for 2012 are still the second highest September numbers ever.

  5. 5
    Haybaler says:

    Lenders choose to avoid beginning a Foreclosure that will result in a family being removed from their homes around Christmas. Sept filings would do that. Every couple years there are human interest tear jerker news stories about the big bad bank foreclosing during the holidays. And every couple of years there are lenders announcing moratoriums on holiday evictions.

  6. 6
    David Losh says:

    RE: Haybaler @ 5

    OK, but I also think that the election is going to make a difference to banking policy.

    I’m going to continue this thought on the politics, and economy thread, but I think I’m hearing Romney, and Ryan saying they will no longer prop up the banking system.

  7. 7
    corndogs says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 4 – “Going back ten years, the September NTS numbers in King County were lower than the August numbers four out of ten times. I’m not sure what it indicates”

    Ummmm… … randomness?

  8. 8

    […] trend doesn’t seem to be any different from the monthly trend of steady increases that we’ve seen since late last year. There was a slight uptick in notices the week of October 7 through October 13 (I received the […]

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