During the April-June period, 311,010 properties started the foreclosure process, a 9% increase from the previous quarter, said RealtyTrac, a publisher of foreclosure data.
The foreclosure starts were up 6% compared with the second quarter of 2011, the first annual quarterly rise since the fourth quarter of 2009, RealtyTrac said.
In June, foreclosure filings rose annually for the second consecutive month.
In the first six months of the year, homes in some stage of the foreclosure process – default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions – topped one million, RealtyTrac said.
One in 126 homes in the country had at least one foreclosure filing. Nevada had the highest state foreclosure rate: one in 57 homes. Arizona, Georgia, California and Florida rounded out the top five.
First-half filings were up two percent from the second half of last year, but they were down 11% from the same period a year ago.
The report underscored the persistent deep strains in the housing market six years after a price bubble collapsed.
The wave of foreclosures has been a key factor holding down home prices as buyers snap up distressed properties at bargain prices.
“The increases in foreclosure starts in the first half of the year will likely translate into more short sales and bank repossessions in the second half of the year and into next year,” said Brandon Moore, chief executive of RealtyTrac.