By Lynn Adler
NEW YORK July 15 (Reuters) - Banks repossessed a record
number of U.S. homes in the second quarter, but slowed new
foreclosure notices to manage distressed properties on the
market, real estate data company RealtyTrac said on Thursday.
The root problems of job losses and wage cuts persist, making a sustained U.S. housing recovery elusive.
Banks took control of 269,962 properties in the second
quarter, up 5 percent from the prior quarter and a 38 percent
spike from the second quarter of last year, RealtyTrac said in
its midyear 2010 foreclosure report.
Repossessions will likely top 1 million this year.
"The underlying conditions haven't improved," RealtyTrac senior vice president Rick Sharga said in an interview.
The housing market still
grapples with "unemployment,
economic displacement in general, and still sits on over 5
million seriously delinquent loans that in all likelihood will
at some point go into foreclosure," he said.
In 2005, the last "normal" year in housing, Sharga said,
about 530,000 households got a foreclosure notice and banks
took over a comparatively minuscule 100,000 houses.
This year more than 3 million households are likely to get
at least one foreclosure filing, which includes notice of
default, scheduled auction and repossession, Irvine,
California-based RealtyTrac forecasts.
In the first half of the year, foreclosure filings were
made on 1.65 million properties. That was down 5 percent from
the last half of 2009 but up 8 percent from the first half of
One in every 78 households got at least one foreclosure filing in the first six months of this year..