(CNN) - The wave of foreclosures hitting the nation's housing market has been much less severe than anticipated, with foreclosure filings at their lowest level in five years last month, according to a report out Thursday.
Foreclosure filings -- including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- were reported on 180,427 properties in September, a 7% decline from August and down more than 16% from a year earlier, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed properties. That's the lowest number of filings since September 2007.
"[Foreclosures are] making little noise in the housing market -- at least on a national level," said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac's vice president.
Blomquist had been waiting for another wave of foreclosures to hit the housing market ever since the $25 billion mortgage settlement was reached in April.
Lenders put the brakes on many foreclosures as their procedures were put under the microscope after the robo-signing scandal came to light in September 2010. The mortgage settlement had cleared the way for them to proceed again by laying out clear guidelines on how they could pursue borrowers who had missed payments and clear their backlogs of delinquent loans.
As a result, Blomquist and other industry experts expected the market to be flooded with repossessions. "That's not the way it's playing out," he said. "It has been a much more managed flow."