Foreclosures in the first half of 2018 are far below their peak of 1.6 million in 2010, but 40% of local markets showed an uptick in foreclosure starts, prompting one expert to blame loosening lending standards.
The first six months of 2018 saw 362,275 foreclosure filings, a 15% decline from the same period last year, according to data analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions. Foreclosure starts were also down, posting an 8% year-over-year decline.
But despite this downward national trend, 40% of local markets showed an uptick in foreclosure starts in the first half of this year. Among the 88 of the 219 metro areas analyzed that showed an increase in foreclosure activity were Minneapolis-St. Paul (up 50%), Houston (up 25%), Detroit (up 23%), Dallas-Fort Worth (up 17%) and Las Vegas (up 7%).
According ATTOM Senior Vice President Daren Blomquist, these localized flare-ups can no longer be attributed to lingering distress from the housing crash, but are more likely a result of loosening lending standards.
“We’re also seeing early evidence of gradually loosening lending standards starting in 2014, specifically for FHA-backed loans,” Blomquist said. “The foreclosure rate on FHA loans originated in 2014 and 2015 has now jumped above the average FHA foreclosure rate for all loan vintages – the only two post-recession vintages with foreclosure rates above that overall average.”
Nationwide, one in every 370 housing units had a foreclosure filing in the first six months of 2018, which amounts to a 0.27% foreclosure rate. Here are the metros with the highest rates of foreclosure in the first half of 2018: