Number of homes in Western Pennsylvania behind in foreclosure plunge amid recovery
The number of homes in foreclosure in the Pittsburgh region declined in April from a year ago, a sign that the improving economy and job gains are giving residents the ability to make their mortgage payments.
The seven-county region last month had 808 homes in foreclosure — from mortgage default notices to bank reposessions — compared with 920 in March and 924 in April 2012, real estate information company Realty Trac Inc. reported on Wednesday.
In addition, fewer homes received a notice of a pending foreclosure sale, which bodes well for this region, experts said.
“The primary thing that drives foreclosures is job loss,” said Mark Price, a labor economist at the Keystone Research Center, Harrisburg.
But the seven-county Pittsburgh region added 3,400 jobs between March 2012 and March 2013. Local employment data for April are not yet available.
“So I'd expect foreclosures, which are an indicator of financial stress that families are undergoing, would decline,” said Price.
Lenders repossessed 130 homes in the Pittsburgh region in April, far fewer than the 202 in April 2012, although higher than the 88 in March of this year.
“These trends indicate that mortgage (lenders and servicers) are moving the backlog of distressed loans further into the foreclosure pipeline in Pittsburgh,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
Meantime, notices of home foreclosure sales in the Pittsburgh region dropped to 315 last month from 424 in March and from 385 in April 2012. That foreshadows fewer foreclosure sales and bank repossessions ahead.
Mortgage default filings, which represent the earliest stage of a foreclosure, rose only slightly in the Pittsburgh region to 363 in April from 359 in March and from 337 in April 2012.
A separate report on Wednesday from TransUnion, the credit reporting agency, showed the percentage of homeowners at least two months behind on their mortgage payments fell 21 percent in the January-March quarter, compared with the same period in 2012. That was the sharpest year-over-year decrease in mortgage delinquencies since at least 1992.
“We certainly expected improvement this quarter as the housing sector is in recovery, but the magnitude of the improvement was unexpected,” Tim Martin, TransUnion's group vice president of U.S. housing, said in a statement.
Thomas Olson is a Trib Total Media staff writer. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Electric cars plug into solar power
- Health insurers’ move towardd ‘high-value’ care providers may reduce choice
- Pittsburgh-area stocks triumph over a volatile October
- US consumer spending down 0.2 percent in September
- Mark Phelan: Detroit 3 need to fix their troubled small cars
- Pump prices: How low can you go? Below $3
- Wal-Mart ups ante on holiday shopping
- Wall Street caps a wild month with a rally
- Under the Hood: Vibration problem needs 2nd set of eyes
- Coal official: Number of W.Va. mining sites falls to 96
- Roundup: WesBanco to acquire ESB Financial for $324M; PNC to replace credit cards used during Home Depot breach; more