Foreclosures up across country, Philadelphia sees increase

By Kelly Leighton | Aug. 30, 2018 | 2 min. read

Foreclosure starts increased in 44 percent of metros in the U.S. in the past year.

Ninety-six of the 219 metro areas analyzed by ATTOM Data Solutions saw their foreclosure starts go up year-to-year in July. This was the first year-to-year increase in 36 months. In Philadelphia, foreclosure starts increased 10 percent year-to-year, with one in every 851 homeowners filing for foreclosures there. Across the country, the national average was one in every 2,086 homes for a foreclosure start in July. Philadelphia was fifth on the list of metros with the most foreclosures, and Atlantic City was the top area, with one foreclosure for every 448 homes.

In Philadelphia, some older homeowners are turning to reverse mortgages, which isn’t always the answer, and can lead to foreclosure. Between 2010-2016, Philadelphia had close to 50 reverse mortgages per every 1,000 homeowners age 65 or older, which is the highest rate among the nation’s 100 largest counties.

In July, more than 30,000 homeowners filed for foreclosure, up 1 percent from June, and up less than 1 percent from July 2017.

“The increase in foreclosure starts is not just a one-month anomaly in many local markets given that July represented the third consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in 33 metro areas,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. “Gradually loosening lending standards over the past few years have introduced a modicum of risk back into the housing market, and that additional risk is resulting in rising foreclosure starts in a diverse set of markets across the country. Most susceptible to rising foreclosure starts are affordability-challenged markets where homebuyers are more financially stretched and markets with some type of trigger event such as a natural disaster or large-scale layoffs.”

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