RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The number of Wake County homeowners defaulting on their mortgage payments is up dramatically since last year. But experts say the data looks worse than it is.
According to the new report from ATTOM Data Solutions, there have been 481 total foreclosures in Wake County through the end of August--a 425% increase compared to the same time last year. It's a return to pre-pandemic levels happening across the country.
Wake County foreclosure rates are outpacing the national numbers. Foreclosures are up 187% compared to a year ago.
However, analysts at ATTOM do not think the new numbers from the Triangle are cause for alarm.
The pandemic triggered a federally-mandated moratorium on foreclosures--which significantly decreased numbers in the past two years.
Now, with the moratorium lifted, rising foreclosure rates are a return to more typical numbers.
"It's hard to believe that a 400% increase in foreclosure activity is not a problem. But when you go from one to three, it's a 200% increase," said Rick Sharga, executive vice-president of market intelligence at ATTOM. "So what we're seeing right now are percentage increases that are just extraordinarily high, but only because the numbers we saw a year ago were historically low. So, no cause for panic, at least not yet."
For more perspective, take 2017. Wake County saw more than 2,600 home foreclosures that year. So far this year--481. Wake County is still on pace to be below the number of foreclosures it saw pre-pandemic.