Between 2010 and 2014 foreclosure filings throughout Southeastern Michigan dropped between 77 to 87 percent, depending on the county. Oakland County experienced the largest decrease in foreclosure filings in the region at 87 percent and St. Clair County experienced the smallest decrease in the region at 77 percent.
The data used for this post was provided by RealtyTrac.com, a company which tracks and provides comprehensive housing data by gathering such information from parcel level records. The foreclosure data examined here is based off of the total number of properties that received at least one foreclosure filing during that year. Foreclosure filings can include a Notice of Default, a pending lawsuit filing, a Notice of Trustee Sale, a Notice for Foreclosure Sale and/or a Real Estate Owned foreclosure filing.
Wayne County had the highest number of filings in Southeastern Michigan, both in 2014 and 2010. In 2014 there were 6,259 filings and in 2010 there were 36,704. The number of foreclosure filings in 2014 in Wayne County accounted for .76 percent of the county’s housing units and in 2010 the number of foreclosure filings accounted for 4.38 percent of the County’s housing units. Overall there was an 83 percent decrease in the number of foreclosure filings between 2010 and 2014 in Wayne County.
On the opposite end of the spectrum Livingston County had the lowest amount of foreclosure filings in 2014 at 347. In 2010 though Monroe County had the lowest number of foreclosure filings, according to Realtytrac.com at 2,361.
Although Wayne County consistently had the highest number of foreclosure filings in the region between 2010 and 2014 it did not always have the highest percentage of housing units for which foreclosures were filed. For example, in 2010 4.55 percent of Macomb County’s housing units had at least one foreclosure filing; that percentage was 4.38 for Wayne County. Of the five years examined here, 2012 was the only year when Wayne County had the highest percentage of its housing units with at least one foreclosure filing; that number was 2.57 percent.
Unlike Wayne and Macomb counties, Washtenaw County regularly had the lowest percentage of housing units between 2010 and 2014 with at least one foreclosure filing. In 2010 the percentage of housing units with at least one foreclosure filing was 2.38 and by 2014 that number in Washtenaw County decreased to 0.47.
In 2010 Oakland County had 20,445 foreclosure filings and in 2014 that number dropped to 2,682, meaning there was 87 percent decrease in the number of foreclosure filings there. This percentage decrease in the number of filings was the greatest in the region. The 20,445 foreclosure filings in 2010 for Oakland County were equivalent to 3.89 percent of Oakland County’s housing units and the number of foreclosure filings in 2014 for Oakland County was equivalent to .51 percent of the housing units. According to the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office, in 2014 834 properties were offered up for for tax auction by the county and in 2010 that number was 909 (2012 was the highest recent number for Oakland County at 1,651).
St. Clair County had the smallest percentage decrease in the number of foreclosure filings between 2010 and 2014. In 2010 Realtytrac.com reported there were 2,493 foreclosure filings and in 2010 that number decreased to 569. The 2010 number of foreclosure filings in St. Clair County was equivalent to 3.4 percent of the housing units there and the 2014 number was equivalent to .79 percent.
Overall, we see that there has been a very substantial decline in foreclosure filings in Metro-Detroit. However, the number of foreclosure filings in 2010 may still be having an affect on today’s current rental market. Foreclosure is damaging to an individual’s credit score, making it more difficult to take out lines of credit, which can affect an their ability to purchase a home. With foreclosure filings ranking in the thousands in each county for at least a few years, it is likely that at least a large share of people whose properties were ultimately foreclosed went to seek rentals. This would mean the total number of renters in the region would have increased, which could lead to an increase in rental demand, particularly if the number of rental units did not increase. The topic of rental demand as it relates to the percent of renter occupied units and the number of rental units available will be explored in upcoming posts as we continue to explore housing issues, particularly those related to increasing rental costs, in Southeastern Michigan.