Monthly foreclosures decelerating
January’s foreclosure rate hints at easing
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While Hawaii's foreclosure rate last month continued to run above year-ago levels, it improved from December, and remains lower than most parts of the United States, data being released today indicates.
Although Hawaii's foreclosure activity in January 2008 was 24.2 percent above the same month last year, only 123 state households went into foreclosure last month, according to a survey by the research firm RealtyTrac.
Nationwide, a total of 223,001 foreclosures were reported in January, which represented an 8 percent increase from the prior month and a 56.98 percent increase from the prior year.
Since the January 2008 increases aren't as dramatic as the prior year, experts say it could be that some of the efforts on the part of lenders and the government to assist distressed homeowners are beginning to take effect.
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Last fall, many experts expected that Hawaii would begin seeing a dramatic increase in foreclosures early this year as more consumers defaulted on loans and lenders tightened their underwriting standards in the wake of the national subprime lending collapse -- but that wasn't the case in January, according to new data being released today.
While foreclosure rates continue to run ahead of year-ago levels -- in Hawaii and the rest of the nation -- foreclosures have a relatively limited footprint throughout the islands, according to a report by the national research firm RealtyTrac.
Hawaii had 123 foreclosure filings in January, up 24.2 percent from the same month a year earlier, RealtyTrac reported. Some previous months had seen the isle foreclosure rate running more than double year-ago levels.
And compared to December 2007, RealtyTrac found, the state's January 2008 foreclosure rate actually decreased 5.38 percent.
Last month's decline in foreclosure activity in Hawaii comes despite data showing that about 12 percent of Hawaii homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages were facing mortgage-rate resets between October and the end of December.
On the mainland, mortgage-rate resets have added hundreds, even thousands of dollars, to monthly payments.
More than 1 percent of all U.S. households -- 0.187 percent -- were in some stage of foreclosure last month. On the other hand, RealtyTrac reported that only 0.025 percent of Hawaii households were in foreclosure last month, ranking the state 42nd nationwide.
Nationally, January foreclosures increased 8 percent from the previous month and 57 percent year-over-year. A total of 233,001 foreclosures were reported nationwide in January as foreclosure activity continued to increase substantially in many states, said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
Nevada, Florida and California posted the top foreclosure rates last month along with Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Georgia, Connecticut, Ohio and Michigan.