Since the housing market crash in 2007, foreclosure rates skyrocketed. On a national level, foreclosure activity and actual foreclosures have been down on year-to-year and month-to-month basis, but in Connecticut, trends go against this movement.
According to a report from RealtyTrac Inc., while national foreclosure activity lessened in March 2013, Connecticut’s increased 32 percent year to year and 47 percent month to month. Last month, 1,742 total Connecticut properties received foreclosure notices (up from 1,184 in March 2012), with 3,923 notices for the first quarter of 2013. For the same time period in 2012, the amount was 3,421.
Actual foreclosures reflected a similar pattern, going up 15 percent for the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same time period in 2012. However, compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, actual foreclosures went down 17 percent.
Nationally, year-to-year figures show a 23-percent drop of foreclosure activity, with a month-to-month decrease of one percent. Actual foreclosures decreased 23 percent for the first quarter nationally when compared to figures from the previous year.
Nevertheless, figures vary for each Connecticut county. In Fairfield County, the number of foreclosures reached the lowest level since June 2011, but figures for the area still exceed national rates. According to a March 2013 CoreLogic report, 4.32 percent of all Fairfield County mortgages as of January 2013are in some state of foreclosure, which is a 0.48-percent decrease from a year ago. Note, however, that national rates fell 2.9 percent over this time.
Hurricane Sandy may have exacerbated market conditions for Fairfield County. A March 19 Connecticut Post story details that, for the fourth quarter of 2012, the aftermath of the storm resulted in 15 percent of homes with underwater mortgages. While underwater mortgages, nationally, have been on the decline, perhaps as a result of increased refinancing, Fairfield County follows the same pattern as other Sandy-affected areas, including New York and New Jersey.