Foreclosures Spike Up to Close 2012

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

December 2012
King: 1,031 NTS, up 198.8% YOY
Snohomish: 609 NTS, up 278.3% YOY
Pierce: 770 NTS, up 237.7% YOY

All three counties are still up quite a bit from a year ago since last year at this time foreclosures were falling each month, but this year they are rising.

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 815 households, Snohomish County had 1 NTS per 454 households, and Pierce had 1 NTS for every 422 households (higher is better).

According to foreclosure tracking company RealtyTrac, Washington’s statewide foreclosure rate for December of one foreclosure for every 615 housing units was 8th 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
    softwarengineer says:

    Yin and Yang

    The “yin” of a foreclosure spike on home prices is most likely drawing them lower.

    The “yang” of clearing the held inventory is they get sold faster [albeit at likely lower prices], fixed up and eventually become respectable neighborhood buddies, less likely to impact any more neighborhood price deterioration.

  2. 2
    Todd says:

    This is in line with B of A and Chase that announced last summer that they were going to move forward with foreclosures again. So there is usually a delay between filing the foreclosure and the actual trustee sale, so I expect these to flow in throughout 2013 and 2014.

    At least that parallels what we are seeing here.

  3. 3

    I have yet to hear from anyone in the industry how the Bain v. MERS decision affected the processing of foreclosures, if at all. That was decided in mid-August. Without knowing the impact of that decision I think it’s difficult to know what the numbers since then mean.

  4. 4

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 3

    Yes Kary

    That giant lawsuit in NY against B & A and others was to impact the the whole country on administrative delays of foreclosures. It seems to have been swpt under the rug….kick the can, like the fiscal cliff hogwash to shutting government down.

    The organization and logic of this mess is a good Mad Magazine article.

    And BTW, my blog above offerred both sides to the foreclosure issue, do I have a “Hate SWE” contingency on this blog? I’ll repeat, to support longterm [several years] delaying foreclosures means one “CLEAR” thing…..deterioration of neighborhood stock. Explain to me why it doesn’t. And don’t give me that lamebrain Toyota/Lexus floormat excuse for computer and acceleration module electrical component failure. I’m an engineer, I can smell the stench of hogwash like that a mile away.

  5. 5
    Splashoil says:

    Yves Smith at Naked has just rolled out a scathing review of B of A’s foreclosure practices which is a must read. I hope professionals here in the industry will read it.

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