Home foreclosures in the U.S. could top 1 million this year.
RealityTrac, a firm that tracks foreclosures, released a report on Thursday revealing that lenders took over nearly 528,000 homes in the first half of 2010. It predicts that if the economy doesn't improve, a new wave of foreclosures could be coming and could surpass the more than 900,000 homes repossessed in 2009.
"That would be unprecedented," said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac.
Historically, lenders have only foreclosed on about 100,000 homes a year.
In all, about 1.7 million homeowners received a foreclosure-related warning between January and June. That translates to one in 78 U.S. homes.
Foreclosed homes are typically sold with large discounts, lowering the value of surrounding properties.
"The downward pressure from foreclosures will persist and prices will be very weak well into 2012," Celia Chen, senior director of Moody's Economy.com, told the Associated Press.
She projects home prices will fall as much as 6 percent over the next 12 months from where they were in the first-quarter.
Nevada posted the highest foreclosure rate in the first half of the year of all of the states in the U.S.
Arizona, Florida, California and Utah were the next four in the top five states with the highest foreclosure rates.