Thursday, February 20, 2014

A note on seasonality in foreclosures

With the end of 2013, I've gone in and calculated an average foreclosure total for each month in both foreclosure filings and sales. Each month in the graph below shows the average total for each month based on data from 2007 through 2013:


With foreclosure filings, the most active month is March, and from there filings activity declines until September. Lenders appear to like getting in a number of filings before the end of the calendar year in December.

With auction sales, the seasonal issues are different. In this case, the most active month for completed foreclosures is January, and the least active month is December. It appears that lenders like to avoid repossessing houses in December. Sales activity is also strong in August and late summer in general.

Generally speaking, this trend holds in many years, as we can see in the next graph. Here we can see each year separated out by month:


Although there are far fewer foreclosures in recent years than was the case 6 or 7 years ago, March and April appear to be very active months in most cases, compared to the other months. 

With foreclosure sales,  January has retained it's spot as a big month, as has August: 


Note: I update these last two graphs every month in the monthly foreclosure report.