Foreclosures rose by 7 percent during Q1 2010, study says

New data released this week by Bank Foreclosures Sale has found that foreclosures across the country increased by 7 percent in the first quarter of 2010, signaling the housing market is still far from a full recovery.

Bank repossessions, which usually represent the final stage of the foreclosure process, also increased by 36 percent during the quarter, even though default notices – the first stage of foreclosure – fell by 1 percent.

While the rise in foreclosures came as bad news to those involved in the housing market, the increase in repossessed homes may be good news to consumers who are looking for a new home but are limited in their personal finances.

“This is great news for buyers, because a big supply means low prices, and the banks are really looking to get these homes off their hands,” said Simon Campbell, a business analyst with Bank Foreclosures Sale. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see average sale prices really drop in the coming months.”

The survey also found that Nevada, Arizona, and Florida had the three highest rates of foreclosure in the country, even though Arizona’s rate had declined 16 percent since the first quarter of 2009.