The rate of home foreclosures improved considerably in 2012. Enough, in fact, that the data confirms that the housing markets have begun a sharp recovery. However, taken in the context of which states have seen improvements and which have not, the rebound is extremely uneven, and therefore misleading.
According to research firm RealtyTrac, information it gathered for its year-end and fourth-quarter 2012 U.S. Foreclosure & Short Sales Report:
… shows a total of 947,995 U.S. properties in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned (REO) were sold during the year, a decrease of 6 percent from 2011 and down 11 percent from 2010.
The improvement was substantial based on another measure:
[F]oreclosure-related sales accounted for 21 percent of all U.S. residential sales during the year, down from 23 percent of all sales in 2011 and down from 28 percent of all sales in 2010.
In states with the most troubled…
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