Foreclosures are on the rise again in Las Vegas
After months of steady decline, foreclosure activity picked up last month in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas moved from No. 15 to No. 13 on RealtyTrac's list of large metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates.
It’s not yet known if the June numbers signal a trend. Stricter paperwork requirements have made it harder for banks to foreclose on homes in Nevada, and local real estate agents are watching foreclosure filings to see if banks move to repossess a bigger chunk of backlogged homes.
''Lenders and servicers are slowly but surely catching up with the backlog of delinquent loans that under normal circumstances would have started the foreclosure process last year,'' RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore said in a statement. ''The increases in foreclosure starts in the first half of the year will likely translate into more short sales and bank repossessions in the second half of the year and into next year.''
For Las Vegas, the figures released Wednesday showed a reversal in pattern. Before inching back up last month, Las Vegas moved from No. 1 on the foreclosure list in January to No. 7 in April to No. 15 in May.
Notices of default, which are the first step in the foreclosure process, jumped in the Las Vegas area from 1,097 in May to 1,352 in June, RealtyTrac said. Total foreclosure filings increased from 3,122 to 3,181.
That means one in 264 homes in Las Vegas received a foreclosure notice in June, well above the national rate of one in 666 homes.
Still, foreclosure activity in Las Vegas is down markedly from June 2011, when 2,540 notices of default were issued.
The overall slowdown in bank takeovers is believed to be responsible for a smaller inventory of homes for sale and a resulting rise in price. The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors said this week that the median price of a single-family home was $131,785 in June, up 3 percent from $128,000 in May and up 5.9 percent from one year ago.
Nationwide, while overall foreclosure activity fell last month based on year-over-year rates, foreclosure starts increased from May, according to RealtyTrac. National notices of default rose from 22,622 in May to 25,824 in June. Still, those numbers remained well off the pace of June 2011, when 30,202 notices were issued nationwide.
California moved to the No. 1 spot on the foreclosure list for the first time since RealtyTrac started issuing foreclosure reports in 2005, thanks to an 18 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts there in June.