LAS VEGAS -- The home foreclosure rate in Southern Nevada still exceeds the national average but the Las Vegas metro area in July fell out of the top 20 in this category for the first time since the Great Recession began.
Foreclosure property tracking service RealtyTrac from Irvine, Calif., reported Wednesday night that Las Vegas fell to 29th last month among the nation's metro areas with one foreclosure filing for every 376 housing units. That is still worse than the one foreclosure filing per 686 units nationally, which includes notices of default and trustee sales and repossessions by banks.
But the July numbers are significant because Las Vegas had the nation's highest foreclosure rate among metro areas in 2011 before tumbling to 9th place in the first half of this year. Foreclosure activity, which involved 2,236 Las Vegas properties in July, was down 29.7 percent from June and nearly 73 percent from July 2011.
Nevada, which held the nation's highest foreclosure rate among states for most of the past five years until this spring, fell to 6th place in July with one filing per 415 housing units. RealtyTrac also reported that Nevada had 71 percent fewer bank repossessions in July than the same month in 2011, the nation's sixth largest drop.
Real estate observers have said that the reason for the sharp declines in foreclosure filings in Nevada is a state law effective last fall that makes it more difficult for mortgage lenders to initiate foreclosures.
California posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate in July with one filing for every 325 housing units, and Stockton, Calif., led the metro areas with one filing per 153 units. Eight of the top 10 metro areas on the foreclosure list are in California and the other two are in Florida.
July foreclosure activity nationally fell 3 percent from the prior month and 10 percent from July 2011.