As a result, in cities such as Phoenix and San Francisco, the level of distressed inventory declined more than 30%, leading to a sharp rebound in those markets.
However, the trend has not been uniform, with some states, mostly ones that require banks to prove in court that the borrower is in default in order to foreclose, still seeing a rise in foreclosures.
Tampa saw an 80% increase in foreclosures, while Miami, Baltimore and Chicago had a jump of over 30%. New York foreclosure filings rose 28%.
Many have argued that the judicial foreclosure process is
holding back the recovery
in states such as New York and Florida.
Still, the judicial foreclosure process has helped in some ways. It has prevented foreclosed homes from hitting the market all at once, preventing steep declines in some markets and allowing investors more time to absorb excess inventory at a measured pace.
(Watch TheStreet's interview with Daren Blomquist on how some of the new foreclosure laws are hurting the housing market.)
(For more on why now is a good time to buy homes, read this.)
(Also check out Trulia's list of where and where not to buy in 2013.)
-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York
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