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Charlotte foreclosure filings drop 39% in October

Charlotte-area foreclosure filings fell 39 percent in October from a year ago, as declines were also logged nationwide, RealtyTrac said Thursday.

Filings were reported on 938 Charlotte-area properties in different stages of the foreclosure process. The biggest driver of the drop was a nearly 85 percent decline in auction notices, which fell to 152.

Nationwide, filings were reported on 133,919 properties, a 28 percent decline from a year ago.

The weakening foreclosure activity comes as reports show fewer loans souring nationwide. Last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said the delinquency rate for outstanding loans on one- to four-unit residential properties fell in the third quarter to the lowest level in five years. Also, the rate at which foreclosure actions were started in the third quarter decreased to the lowest level in six years, the association said.

From September to October, foreclosure filings rose 32 percent in the Charlotte region, with bank repossessions the largest contributing factor, RealtyTrac data show. Nationwide, foreclosure filings increased 2 percent over the period.

Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president, said in a statement that lenders are likely moving swiftly to sell properties at auction to take advantage of strong demand from institutional investors who want to buy homes they can convert to rentals. In a report it released in September, RealtyTrac said such investors were responsible for one in five Charlotte-area home purchases from May to July.

Rising home prices are also allowing lenders to recoup more of their loan losses when homes are sold at auction or after being repossessed, Blomquist said. Last week, the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association reported that the average October sales price in the Charlotte area rose to $210,278, an increase of 3 percent from a year ago.

Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac defines foreclosure filings as default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.

Roberts: 704-358-5248; Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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