Lenders repossessed fewer U.S. homes in January, bringing the number of completed foreclosures down to the lowest level in more than six years.
From Star and news service reports
Even so, many states posted sharp increases in the number of homes entering the foreclosure process for the first time, a trend that raises the likelihood that those states will see a surge in foreclosed homes later this year.
Banks took back 30,226 homes last month, a drop of 4 percent from December, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.
Completed foreclosures were down 40 percent from January last year to the lowest level since July 2007, the firm said.
The number of foreclosure actions in January declined by 29.2 percent in Kansas compared with January 2013 and by 41.7 percent in Missouri, RealtyTrac said.
A dozen states posted annual increases in foreclosures, including New York, Oklahoma, Connecticut and New Jersey.
While foreclosures remain elevated in many populous states, they have been steadily on the wane since the U.S. housing market and economy began to rebound after years of decline.