June 17, 2011 (Jeff Alan)

The inventory of unsold bank Real Estate Owned (REO) properties continues to increase even as year-over-year foreclosure activity continues to decline according to the latest data from RealtyTrac’s Foreclosure Market Report, which cites weak buyer demand as the main culprit.

Foreclosure filings, which consist of default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, decreased by 2 percent from April to May 2011, as 214,927 U.S. properties received a foreclosure filing in May. Compared to May 2010, that’s a whopping 33 percent decline.

“The inventory of properties in the foreclosure process has declined steadily over the past six months — thanks in large part to16 consecutive months of year-over-year declines in new default notices — the inventory of unsold bank-owned REOs increased in April and May even as new REO activity slowed in both of those months,” Saccacio continued. “That points to continued weak demand from buyers, making it tough for lenders to unload their REO inventory. Even at a significantly lower level than a year ago, the new supply of REOs exceeds the amount being sold each month.”

States that use non-judicial foreclosure proceedings continued to dominate the amount of foreclosure activity, accounting for two-thirds of the national total. A total of 141,328 properties in non-judicial states received a foreclosure filing in May compared to 73,579 in states that utilize judicial foreclosure proceedings.

Nevada, Arizona, and California continued to lead the country in foreclosure filings. Nevada has held the number one rank for 53 straight months with one in every 103 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in May. Arizona was second with one in every 210, followed by California (one in every 259), Michigan (one in every 311), and Utah (one in every 365).

In sheer numbers, five states accounted for a total of 51 percent of all foreclosure filings led by California with 51,906, Florida with 19,192, Michigan with 14,614, Arizona with 13,122, and Nevada with 11,039 properties receiving foreclosure filings in the month of May.

Based on foreclosure type, 58,797 properties received default notices, 89,251 properties were scheduled for auction, and 66,879 properties were repossessed by lenders in May.

Tags: RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings, default notices, scheduled auctions, repossessions, foreclosure process, weak buyer demand, non-judicial, judicial