Report: 75% of Nation’s Top Metros Post Foreclosure Increases

Thu, Jul 29, 2010


By: Carrie Bay

A new report published by RealtyTrac Thursday shows that 75 percent of the nation’s largest metro areas posted increases in foreclosure activity during the first half of 2010.

RealtyTrac says it’s seeing early signs that foreclosures may have peaked in some hard-hit markets, but with three-quarters of the nation’s most populated metros showing continued increases, the numbers illustrate just how fragile the housing recovery really is.

“The fragile stability achieved in many local housing markets hinges on improvements in the underlying economy, specifically job growth,” said James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac’s CEO. “If unemployment remains persistently high and foreclosure prevention efforts only delay the inevitable, then we could continue to see increased foreclosure activity and a corresponding weakness in home prices in many metro areas.”

According to the company’s Midyear 2010 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report, 154 of the 206 U.S. metro areas with a population of at least 200,000 posted year-over-

year increases in foreclosure activity. Four states – Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona – accounted for all top 10 metro foreclosure rates.

Despite a drop-off in activity, Las Vegas continued to post the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate in the first half of the year, with 6.60 percent of its homes, or one in 15, receiving a foreclosure filing – more than five times the national average. A total of 53,525 Las Vegas properties received a filing during the six-month period, a decrease of nearly 15 percent from the previous six months and a decrease of nearly 9 percent from the first half of 2009.

Foreclosure activity in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida metro fell nearly 22 percent from the previous six months and was down nearly 30 percent from the first half of 2009, but it still documented the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate. During the first half of this year, 4.98 percent of its housing units, or one in 20, received a foreclosure filing.

Other Florida cities in the top 10 were Orlando-Kissimmee at No. 8 (4.15 percent) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at No. 10 (3.89 percent).

Modesto, California saw one in 22 of its homes, or 4.59 percent, slapped with a foreclosure filing in the first half of 2010, giving it the nation’s third highest metro foreclosure rate.

Other California cities in the top 10 were Merced at No. 4 (4.47 percent); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario at No. 5 (4.37 percent); Stockton at No. 6 (4.37 percent); and Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 9 (3.91 percent).

The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area in Arizona posted the nation’s seventh highest foreclosure rate, with 4.28 percent of its housing units, or one in 23, receiving a filing in the first half of 2010

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