Bank repossessions up in area

Foreclosures increased in 44 states last month, including Ohio, where the number of properties repossessed by lenders rose 69 percent from a year ago, according to housing data tracker, RealtyTrac.

The trend was even more pronounced in the Dayton area, where the number of bank-owned properties climbed to 352 from 46 over the same period — a whopping 665 percent increase, the California-based analytics firm reported.

Ralph Mantica, president of the Dayton Area Board of Realtors, said the surge in bank repossessions likely reflects the culmination of the foreclosure process for many homeowners whose foreclosures were originated months, even years ago.

“It takes a long time to get a lot of these houses to go through the foreclosure process,” Mantica said. “Once the process starts, people can literally live in a house for more than a year before the bank actually takes possession of it.”

Nationwide, July bank repossessions reached their highest level since January 2013, according to RealtyTrac numbers, which showed a total of 46,957 properties repossessed by lenders last month, up 29 percent from June and 81 percent from a year ago.

While repossessions are up, the number of distressed properties being pushed into the foreclosure pipeline has slowed considerably.

There were 29,821 Ohio properties with some kind of foreclosure filing from January through June, down 16 percent from the same period a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.

Nationwide, U.S. properties under foreclosure proceedings in the first half of the year were down 13 percent from there year-ago period.

The drop in foreclosure starts has coincided with a pick up in sales of existing homes, which rose 22.6 last month as the average sales price hit $148,552, the Dayton Area Board of Realtors reported Thursday.

Although last month’s average price was down from June’s all-time high of $152,975, both the average sales price and number of sales were the best-ever July figures recorded in the Dayton area, according to the Realtors’ group.

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