Foreclosure activity in the first quarter in the U.S. fell to its lowest level in more than four years despite predictions that a new wave of distressed homes would flood the market this year.
Foreclosure filings in the first quarter were down 2% from the fourth quarter of 2011 and 16% from the same period last year. An estimated 572,928 properties received foreclosure filings during the quarter, the lowest total since the fourth quarter of 2007, according to Irvine data firm RealtyTrac.
Sean O’Toole, founder of the website ForeclosureRadar, said the biggest factor holding back foreclosures is politics. Banks are trying to repair their images after the mortgage mess and the Obama administration is in general election mode. He said foreclosures will remain in a lull and that any sharp uptick is unlikely.
“The chances are zero,” O’Toole said. “If you take into account the political and bank issues, there is just no chance of it.”