Irvine-based RealtyTrac says foreclosure activity -- default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- increased 7 percent nationally in August from July, but still down 9 percent from a year ago.
RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said August is the 47th consecutive month - nearly four years - that nationwide foreclosure activity has decreased on an annual basis.
The report showed one in every 1,126 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during August.
Blomquist said California's foreclosure rate is slightly above the national average and was the 13th highest of states in August.
"We haven't quite seen the numbers return to normal in California,” said Blomquist. “California is still higher than normal numbers and we do think there is some lingering foreclosures that are still left over from the housing crisis."
He said the number of California properties starting the foreclosure process in August was 6,211. Blomquist said those numbers are significantly lower than during the height of foreclosure crisis in California “which peaked in March 2009, with almost 59,000 of those foreclosure starts.”
In the Sacramento metro area, Blomquist said there were 560 homes that entered foreclosure in August, up 5 percent from the previous month but down 12 percent from a year ago.
“Meanwhile there were 385 Sacramento metro homes scheduled for foreclosure auction in August, up 27 percent from the previous month but still down 15 percent from a year ago,” said Blomquist. Finally there were 189 homes repossessed by banks in the Sacramento metro area in August, down 6 percent from the previous month but up 3 percent from a year ago — the fifth straight month where Sacramento bank repossessions have increased from a year ago.
Blomquist said bank repossessions dropped 5 percent nationally in August. But some areas of California, like Sacramento, have seen repossessions increasing. He said 189 homes were repossessed by banks in the Sacramento metro area in August, down 6 percent from the previous month, but up 3 percent from a year ago.
"Those bank repossessions continue to trend upward, increasing from a year ago, which is evidence that there is still some lingering, delayed distress in California that's still being dealt with," said Blomquist.
The RealtyTrac report showed Nevada's foreclosure rate, with one of every 524 homes, in foreclosure, ranked second highest among states.
“Nevada had a 36 percent month-over-month increase in foreclosure starts, with the August rate the highest level since October 2013,” according to the report.
RealtyTrac said six of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity, including San Francisco with a 2 percent increase.
Florida posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate in August.