Foreclosure Hot Spots Concentrated in Four States
Allrn20 of the large metropolitan areas with the highest rates of foreclosuresrnduring the first quarter of 2001 were located in the same four states.
According to the Metropolitan ForeclosurernMarket Report released by RealtyTrac on Thursday, the four, California,rnFlorida, Nevada, and Arizona each had at least one metropolitan area with arnpopulation of 200,000 at the top of the 206 city list with California accountingrnfor ten positions, Florida seven, Nevada two and Arizona one. However, 14 of the top 20 areas and eight ofrnthe top ten reported a decrease in foreclosure activity from the same quarterrnin 2009. At the same time, activityrnincreased over the last year in 159 of the metropolitan areas tracked by thernsurvey and nationwide activity increased by 16 percent.
“The decreasing foreclosure activity in somernof the nation's top foreclosure hot spots in the first quarter is largely thernresult of government intervention and other non-market influences, and not arnsure signal that those areas are out of the woods yet when it comes tornforeclosures,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.rn”For example, the federal government's new program designed to encourage shortrnsales, which was launched April 5, may have caused some lenders to delayrninitiating foreclosure against distressed properties – particularly in hard-hitrnhousing markets where a short sale costs less than a foreclosure.”
LasrnVegas had the highest foreclosure rate with one in every 28 houses being thernsubject of a foreclosure filing, a rate of 3.51 percent. This is 4.9 times the national average. Arntotal of 28,480rnhousing units received at least one filing during the quarter, an increase ofrn13 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009 but a decrease of 19 percent fromrnthe first quarter of 2009.
Inrnthe second ranked city, Modesto, California, foreclosure activity decreased 13 percent from thernfirst quarter of 2009, but one in every 34 housing units still received arnforeclosure filing (2.93 percent). Other California cities in the top 10 werernRiverside-San Bernardino at No. 4 (2.82 percent), Stockton at No. 5 (2.77rnpercent), Merced at No. 6 (2.76 percent), Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 8 (2.41rnpercent) and Bakersfield at No. 9 (2.33 percent).
The Cape Coral-Fort Myers arearnin Florida documented the third highest metro foreclosure rate despiternforeclosure activity decreasing nearly 6 percent from the previous quarter and nearlyrn26 percent in the past year. One inrnevery 35 housing units received a foreclosure filing (2.82 percent) during thernquarter. Orlando-Kissimmee with one in 48 homes receiving a notice (2.30rnpercent) was number 10.
The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdalernmetro area in Arizona was the nation's seventh most impacted city, with one inrnevery 38 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing (2.63 percent). Firstrnquarter foreclosure activity in Phoenix was up 23 percent from the previousrnquarter and up 9 percent from the first quarter of 2009.
RealtyTrac noted thatrnseveral cities outside of the Sun Belt saw substantial increases in foreclosurernrates in the last year. This continues arntrend of activity spreading to areas that had not previously suffered from thernreal estate slump. Columbia, SouthrnCarolina, the 99th ranked city, saw an increase in activity ofrnnearly 171 percent year-over-year. Onernin every 202 housing units received a foreclosure notice in the first quarter. Baltimore also saw a big increase with activityrnup 141 percent but still remains below the national average forrnforeclosures. Salt Lake City andrnCharlotte, North Carolina also saw more than a doubling of their rates.
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