Report: Nevada’s status as high-foreclosure market intact

Nevada remained a high-foreclosure market despite a May surge in defaults in other states, a Monday report said.

RealtyTrac’s May 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report ranked the Silver State No. 3 for default activity, with one in every 717 households carrying a foreclosure filing.

That was behind only Florida, at one in every 436 households, and Maryland, at one in every 621 homes.

Still, Nevada’s overall foreclosure activity fell 57 percent year over year in May, the eighth straight month with a falloff.

Nationally, foreclosure activity slumped nearly 26 percent year over year.

Statewide foreclosure starts slid nearly 70 percent year over year, to 708 filings. Starts nationwide were off 32 percent in the same period.

Dennis Smith, president and CEO of Home Builders Research in Las Vegas, said the annual drop in starts traces back to the state’s Homeowners Bill of Rights, which took effect in October and imposed limits on banks looking to foreclose. But he added that foreclosure starts have trended up month over month — a sign that activity is “headed in the right direction,” toward flushing more delinquent mortgages out of the system.

RealtyTrac’s numbers showed a 30 percent jump in Nevada foreclosure starts from April to May.

Nevada, Florida and Maryland held the top foreclosure spots even as default activity soared in other states. Massachusetts saw a 58 percent spike, to an 18-month high, while New Jersey posted a 37 percent gain. New York was up 18 percent, hitting a 14-month high.

Smith said default activity here remains higher overall than other states because Nevada has above-average rates of underwater mortgages and unemployment.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.