Banks repossess US homes at record pace

July 16, 2010

Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:01am EDT

By Lynn Adler

NEW YORK July 15 (Reuters) – Banks repossessed a record number of U.S. homes in the second quarter, but slowed new foreclosure notices to manage distressed properties on the market, real estate data company RealtyTrac said on Thursday.

The root problems of job losses and wage cuts persist, making a sustained U.S. housing recovery elusive.

Banks took control of 269,962 properties in the second quarter, up 5 percent from the prior quarter and a 38 percent spike from the second quarter of last year, RealtyTrac said in its midyear 2010 foreclosure report.

Repossessions will likely top 1 million this year.

The underlying conditions haven’t improved,” RealtyTrac senior vice president Rick Sharga said in an interview.

The housing market still grapples with “unemployment, economic displacement in general, and still sits on over 5 million seriously delinquent loans that in all likelihood will at some point go into foreclosure,” he said.

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