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In July, New Jersey had one in every 723 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

Foreclosure starts increased in 44 percent of the nation’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ July 2018 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

During the month, 30,187 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first time, up 1 percent from the previous month and up less than 1 percent from a year ago, ATTOM found. July was the first year-over-year increase in foreclosure starts nationwide following 36 consecutive months of year-over-year decreases.

The increase in foreclosure starts is not just a one-month anomaly in many local markets given that July represented the third consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in 33 metro areas, including Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Detroit, San Diego and Austin.

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. Most susceptible to rising foreclosure starts are affordability-challenged markets where homebuyers are more financially stretched and markets with some type of trigger event such as a natural disaster or large-scale layoffs.

Twenty-one states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in July, including Florida (up 35 percent); California (up 3 percent); Texas (up 7 percent); Illinois (up 7 percent); and Ohio (up 2 percent), according to the report.

MSAs posting year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts in July included Los Angeles (up 20 percent); Houston (up 76 percent); Philadelphia (up 10 percent); Miami (up 29 percent); and San Francisco, (up 10 percent).

States with the highest foreclosure rates in July were New Jersey (one in every 723 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Delaware (one in every 841); Maryland (one in every 1,038); Florida (one in every 1,180); and Illinois (one in every 1,277).

The MSAs with the highest foreclosure rates in July were Atlantic City (one in every 448 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Peoria, Ill.(one in every 622); Fayetteville, N.C. (one in every 683); Trenton, N.J. (one in every 703); and Philadelphia (one in every 851).