/ Modified dec 13, 2012 7:08 a.m.

AZ Foreclosures Continue Decline

State ranked 7th last month, its lowest in five years

Home foreclosure filings in Arizona continued their declining trend in November, down 43.5 percent from the same month in 2011, a new report said Thursday.

RealtyTrac, a foreclosure records research company based in Irvine, Calif., reported that there were 6,082 foreclosure filings in Arizona last month, or one for every 468 residential properties.

As recently as March, Arizona was ranked worst in the country for foreclosure filings and had been second or third worst for many months before and several months after that.

A foreclosure filing is defined by RealtyTrac as a default notice, an auction notice or a bank purchase. Thus, one property could have more than one filing and the total number of filings does not necessarily mean that many properties were facing foreclosure.

Nationally, foreclosure filings fell 19 percent from November 2011. Florida was the worst state, with one filing listed for every 304 residential properties.

“The drop in overall foreclosure activity in November was caused largely by a 71-month low in foreclosure starts for the month, more evidence that we are past the worst of the foreclosure problem brought about by the housing bubble bursting six years ago,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

But, Blomquist said, the U.S. housing market is still hobbled and that a wave of bank seizures of foreclosed properties is still under way.

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