Seattle rates high on foreclosure rates

While foreclosure activity decreased across many metro areas nationwide, foreclosure activity in Seattle rose in September. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, foreclosed real estate in Seattle was up 10.9 percent in King County and 7.1 percent statewide compared to September of last year. Across the nation, September totals fell 16 percent.

However, the publication reported that the number of local filings fell from August to September in Seattle. In King County, foreclosure filings were down 17.1 percent and statewide they were down 23.9 percent. The nationwide totals in September were the lowest since July 2007, and fell 6.8 percent from August. From a year prior, the national total fell 15.2 percent.

Although totals fell between August and September, when compared with numbers from July, they rose 22.7 percent and 38.1 from August 2011. This comes after 16 straight year-over-year declines. Luckily, the number of homes that are threatened by foreclosure has been down for the past few months, which is causing the market to gain strength and drive up median sale prices.

"The rebounding activity in Washington state is likely the result of lenders catching up with foreclosures delayed by a state law that took effect in July 2011 and allowed homeowners facing foreclosure to request mediation," real estate expert Daren Blomquist said. "This rebounding pattern will likely be repeated in the coming months in other states that have passed legislation delaying the foreclosure process."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that Washington is one of four states that has a non-judicial foreclosure process where activity increased during the third quarter. Last year, the state imposed a requirement for lenders to offer mediation for homeowners who are facing foreclosure. This law took effect in July 2011.

In September, one in every 821 homes in King County had a foreclosure filing, which is an improvement from August, when statistics shows one in every 680 homes in King County got a filing. However, not all homes that receive a filing actually go through the foreclosure process, but if they do they are only counted once.

In the three county Seattle metropolitan area, which also includes Snohomish and Pierce counties, one in every 607 homes got a foreclosure filing. This makes the area the 60th highest rate among the nation’s 206 areas with a minimum of 200,000 people.