May 14, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) — In a further sign of the still-troubled US housing market, a survey Wednesday showed home foreclosure actions hit a fresh all-time high in April of 243,353.

The survey by the research firm RealtyTrac said the percentage of foreclosure actions — including default, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — rose four percent from the prior month and 65 percent year-over-year.

“The total number of US properties with foreclosure activity in April was the highest monthly total we’ve seen since we began issuing the report in January 2005,” said James Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac.

“Although only about two percent of households nationwide are in foreclosure, these properties contribute to already bloated inventories of homes for sale, and put downward pressure on home values.”

Areas of California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona that had seen booming home values before the property meltdown continue to be particularly hard-hit by foreclosure activity, the survey showed.

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