The average length of time properties have been in foreclosure process neared a three-year high in the first quarter, just as federal officials suggested guidelines that could add further delays.
The schedules increased from 857 to 930 days in a row, said Attom Data Solutions in a report published on Thursday. The average number of days for foreclosure hasn't been as high since the fourth quarter of 2017 when it was 1,027.
The increase suggests condominium foreclosure bans are causing delays, even in actions related to vacant properties that are allowed to proceed with the process. This increases the likelihood of a backlog when the market reopens.
"Hopefully this extra time will give financially disadvantaged homeowners the opportunity to get back on their feet and work with their lenders to avoid foreclosure," said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Attom Data subsidiary RealtyTrac, in a press release.
Although foreclosures are limited to vacant properties and continue to be very low, the number of these properties continues to grow.
The total number of U.S. homes with foreclosure requests rose to 33,699 in the first quarter, up 9% from the previous fiscal period but down 78% from pre-pandemic last year.
Standard notices, scheduled auctions, and bank withdrawals are included in the total number of foreclosure requests.
Only one in 4,078 residential units had foreclosure in the first quarter. The state with the highest foreclosure rate during that period was Delaware with one filing per 1,705 units.