By Lauren Ratcliffe
Published June 14, 2012
For the first time in three months, more than 200,000 properties nationwide were reported as being in some form of foreclosure in May. While the number of foreclosure properties is still down 4% from May 2011, foreclosure starts in May increased for the first time since January 2010.
The figures come from a monthly report by RealtyTrac, a national foreclosure tracking firm.
South Carolina’s foreclosure rate was slightly higher than the national average with one in every 539 homes under some sort of foreclosure proceeding, compared to the national average of one in every 639 homes.
South Carolina was also ranked among the states with some of the biggest annual increases in foreclosure starts at 43%.
“U.S. foreclosure activity has now decreased on a year-over-year basis for 20 straight months including May,” Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac said. “But the jump in May foreclosure starts shows that it’s going to be a bumpy ride down to the bottom of this foreclosure cycle.”
New foreclosures are less likely to move all the way through the process of becoming bank-owned, Moore said.
“Based on the rise in pre-foreclosure sales we’ve seen so far this year, a higher percentage of these new foreclosure starts will likely end up as short sales or auction sales to third parties rather than bank repossessions going forward,” Moore said.
In the Lowcountry, Dorchester County saw the highest rate of foreclosure with one in every 308 homes under foreclosure, while Berkeley County pulled in the lowest rate of foreclosure with one in every 456 homes.
S.C. May foreclosure rates
Number of Foreclosures
Rate of Foreclosure
1 in 539