Isle foreclosures gain but still low nationally
Hawaii ranked near the bottom again in foreclosures last month, according to a research firm's national survey, but foreclosures in the state remain ahead of last year as well as the previous month.
Accompanying a continued run-up in residential real estate inventory and declining sales volumes, Hawaii also saw its February foreclosure rate increase 142 percent from the year-earlier month and 16 percent from January, according to the latest projections released yesterday by RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.
Altogether, RealtyTrac reported that there were 143 foreclosures filed in Hawaii in February, or 1 foreclosure for every 3,434 households.
Nationally, RealtyTrac reported that there were default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions filed on 223,651 properties during the month, a 4 percent decrease from the previous month, but still a nearly 60 percent increase from February 2007.
The report also shows one in every 557 U.S. households had a foreclosure filing during the month.
"The 4 percent monthly decrease this February was similar to the 6 percent monthly decrease we saw in February 2007," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "However, the year-over-year increase of 60 percent this February was significantly higher than the 19 percent year-over-year increase in February 2007, indicating we have still not reached the peak of foreclosure activity in this cycle."
The flattening of Hawaii's home prices and the rise in inventoryare signs that have gone along with foreclosure activity in other states, said Daren Blomquist, a spokesman for RealtyTrac.
"What Hawaii has going for it that other areas don't is that there is a somewhat limited supply of homes, which will help to even things out," Blomquist said. "My inclination will be that Hawaii won't feel it as harshly as other areas, but it certainly won't be immune."
Compared to most mainland markets, foreclosures in Hawaii -- which ranked 43rd in the RealtyTrac survey covering February -- continued to have a limited footprint in February. However, last year, the state Division of Financial Institutions issued a consumer advisory urging kamaaina home-owners with adjustable-rate mortgages to plan for scheduled resets.
*Total households per foreclosure