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ABQ Foreclosure Activity Dips in Q1

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Foreclosure activity continued to drop in Albuquerque during the first quarter, although the metro held on to its ranking as a relative hot spot for housing distress, according to a new report.

One out of every 195 homes was somewhere in the foreclosure process in January through March, a higher ratio than the national average of one out of every 230, for a ranking of 63 out of 212 cities, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac reported. Albuquerque ranked 61 for foreclosure activity for all of 2011.

On the positive side, Albuquerque was one of 135 cities to see the pace of foreclosure activity decrease from a year earlier. The 1,924 homes in the foreclosure process during the first quarter was down 9.5 percent from the same period in 2011, RealtyTrac said.

Albuquerque, which posted a 7.4 percent decrease from the fourth quarter as well, was in the minority of cities to see activity drop from the end of 2011.

Foreclosure activity, which ranges from the initial default notice to a foreclosure auction or bank repossession, was inconsistent across the country in the first quarter.

For example, Las Vegas, Nev. — long considered a poster child for housing distress — saw activity drop 61 percent over the past year. On the other hand, Orlando, Fla., saw activity jump 52 percent while Indianapolis saw a 41 percent year-over-year increase.

“First-quarter metro foreclosure trends were a mixed bag,” said RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore in a prepared statement. “While the majority of metro areas continued to show foreclosure activity down from a year ago, more than half reported increasing foreclosure activity from the previous quarter.”

The majority of Albuquerque’s foreclosure activity was at the front end of the process. There were 1,599 homes, or 83 percent of the metro’s total, facing the initial filing of a civil suit for foreclosure in state District Court.

The high percentage of homes at the front end of the process generally means that those properties are either stalled in court or headed toward a short sale.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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