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Originally published April 18, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 18, 2007 at 3:46 PM

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Foreclosures in state fall, bucking national trend

Washington state continues to defy the growing national trend in home foreclosures, according to a report released today. Based on filings reported...

Seattle Times business reporter

Washington state continues to defy the growing national trend in home foreclosures, according to a report released today.

Based on filings reported during March, foreclosures are up 47 percent nationally compared with a year earlier, according to RealtyTrac, a California-based foreclosure-information provider.

Year over year, Washington state filings dipped 5.9 percent in March.

RealtyTrac estimates that one household in every 775 experienced some stage of foreclosure nationwide last month. In Washington state, it was one household in every 1,378.

However by one measure, Washington matches the national norm: Compared with February, March foreclosure filings increased about 7 percent, both nationally and in the state.

Five state account for half the nation's total foreclosure filings, which numbered 149,150 in March: Florida, Texas, Michigan, Ohio and California. Additionally, California tallied six of the 10 cities with the highest metro-area foreclosure rates. Stockton, which registered one foreclosure for every 128 households, was No. 1.

"Foreclosure activity shifted into a higher gear in the first two months of 2007, and March's numbers continued that trend," James Saccacio, RealtyTrac's chief executive officer, said in a statement.

"While foreclosures are causing a major disruption in the subprime sector of the lending industry and saturating pockets of some local markets, it's important to note that U.S. foreclosure activity overall is not far above historical norms," he said.

Elizabeth Rhodes: erhodes@seattletimes.com

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