Oregon's seven largest counties collectively reported legal action on 996 properties, according to Gorilla Capital, a Eugene company that buys, redevelops and sells foreclosed homes. Those numbers mostly represent foreclosure cases. That's 65% more cases than seen a month earlier. And it rivals the 1,036 out-of-court foreclosure starts recorded in those counties a year earlier, before legal complications sent most foreclosures into the court system.RealtyTrac points out that while U.S. foreclosures were up in February, home repossessions are actually down 25% year to year. Officials at the Irvine Calif., real estate services provider say the foreclosure bonfire is largely extinguished after five years of historically high activity. Not completely, though.
New York +139%
New Jersey +70% On the plus side, the more foreclosures sold off, the more surrounding homes are worth. (Foreclosed homes usually drag down the prices of nearby homes.) But an increase in foreclosures also signals that the U.S. housing market is not out of the woods yet. Until the inventory of foreclosed homes is largely sold off, there can't be significant recovery in the nation's residential housing market. From what RealtyTrac is reporting, that so-called recovery isn't as strong as one might think.