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Have foreclosure rates fallen to pre-recession levels?

National foreclosure rates -- including auctions, bank repossessions and default notices -- have fallen by 19 percent since the same time last year. Only 235,000 properties nationwide have been subjected to foreclosures in the first quarter of 2017. This information, reported by Attom Data Solutions, represents the lowest foreclosure rates since third quarter 2006.

In total, 100 real estate markets have fallen below pre-recession levels when it comes to foreclosures. Included among these real estate markets are Houston, Los Angeles and Miami. Last year at this time, only 78 markets had reached pre-recession levels. Meanwhile, Maryland, Nevada and New Jersey are the real estate markets that show the highest foreclosure figures in the nation.

Although lower foreclosure figures represent a better and more robust housing market, the news is not all favorable. Lower foreclosure rates also indicate a decline in home affordability. This has been an issue experienced by many communities around the United States, where homes are becoming too expensive to buy. Indeed, in some real estate markets, the average down payment on a home exceeds the average yearly salary.

If you're thinking of buying or selling a home that's being foreclosed in San Antonio, Texas, you might want to get help from a legal professional. When it comes to the legal complexities and real estate contracts involved in buying or selling a home that's in foreclosure, a real estate agent can only do so much to protect you and your family from getting into a legal or financial bind. A real estate lawyer, however, will protect your interests and ensure that you avoid potential problems that could arise later on down the road.

Source: Marketwatch, "Foreclosure activity drops to pre-recession levels nationwide," Jason Passy, April 13, 2017

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