Foreclosure starts rose in the U.S. in July for the first time in three years, as 44% of markets across the country saw increases.

Real-estate data firm Attom Data Solutions on Tuesday said 30,187 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in July, up 1% from June and up less than 1% from a year ago, ending a streak of 36 months of year-over-year decreases.

Attom Data said foreclosure starts rose in 96 of the 219 metropolitan statistical areas it analyzes, with 33 of those areas posting their third straight monthly increase.

“Gradually loosening lending standards over the past few years have introduced a modicum of risk back into the housing market, and that additional risk is resulting in rising foreclosure starts in a diverse set of markets across the country,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of Attom Data.

The firm said 21 states saw a rise in foreclosure starts in July, with the highest foreclosure rates in July in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Florida and Illinois.

Wall Street Journal, Aug. 21, 2018

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