Foreclosures continued their downward descent in November, as total filings retreated 3% from the previous month’s level and were down 19% from the previous year, according to data released today by RealtyTrac. 

The decline was largely driven by a precipitous drop in foreclosure starts, which fell 13% on a monthly basis and were down 28% year-over-year, bringing the category to a 71-month low. 

While the news served as “more evidence that we are past the worst in the foreclosure problem,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said, he also warned that housing isn’t out of the woods. “Foreclosures are continuing to hobble the U.S. housing market as lenders finally seize properties that started the process a year or two ago—and much longer in some cases.” 

Indeed, bank repossessions were up 11% compared to October and rose 5% annually, marking the first year-over-year increase since October 2010.

Foreclosure starts, too, may again pick up, Blomquist warned, “as lenders are still adjusting to new foreclosure ground rules set forth in the National Mortgage Settlement along with various state laws and court rulings.” 

See RealtyTrac’s full report on November’s foreclosure numbers. 

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Greenville, SC.