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Foreclosure rates rise in most major metro areas

The 2010 Year-End Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report by RealtyTrac.com has revealed that foreclosures posted in 2010 are up from 2009 in 72% of cities with populations over 200,000. In an interesting turn, however, the areas with the top ten highest foreclosure rates are actually down from 2009 and 60% of those have decreased since 2008.

So, the most hard hit areas are slowing down foreclosure rates while the more traditionally resilient areas have actually seen an increase with Houston, Atlanta and Seattle experiencing the largest increases of the 20 largest metros. It is no surprise to anyone that Vegas continues to top the foreclosure charts.

Top 20 metros charted:

Full press release from RealtyTrac:

IRVINE, Calif. – Jan. 27, 2011 – RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its 2010 Year-End Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report, which shows that while foreclosure activity increased from 2009 in 149 of the nation’s 206 metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more, the metro areas with the 10 highest foreclosure rates all posted decreasing foreclosure activity from 2009 and six of the top 10 also posted decreasing foreclosure activity from 2008.

California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona cities accounted for 19 of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates, with Boise City-Nampa, Idaho the lone exception at No. 20. Boise also was one of only three metros in the top 20 where foreclosure activity increased from 2009, along with the Florida metro areas of Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach at No. 13 and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater at No. 17.

“Foreclosure floodwaters receded somewhat in 2010 in the nation’s hardest-hit housing markets,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Even so, foreclosure levels remained five to 10 times higher than historic norms in most of those hard-hit markets, where deep faultlines of risk remain and could potentially trigger more waves of foreclosure activity in 2011 and beyond. Meanwhile foreclosures became more widespread in 2010 as high unemployment drove activity up in 72 percent of the nation’s metro areas — many of which were relatively insulated from the initial foreclosure tsunami.”

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Top 10 metro foreclosure rates
Las Vegas-Paradise continued to post the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 9 housing units (10.88 percent) receiving a foreclosure filing in 2010 — nearly five times the national average. A total of 88,198 Las Vegas-area properties received a foreclosure filing in 2010, a decrease of 7 percent from 2009 but still up 31 percent from 2008.

Despite decreasing foreclosure activity from both 2009 and 2008, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., documented the nation’s second highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 12 housing units (8.40 percent) receiving a foreclosure filing in 2010. A total of 30,660 properties in the metro area received a foreclosure filing in 2010, down 28 percent from 2009 and down 25 percent from 2008.

Modesto, Calif., also reported a decrease in foreclosure activity from 2009 and 2008, but the metro area still posted the nation’s third highest metro foreclosure rate with one in every 14 housing units (7.34 percent) receiving a foreclosure filing in 2010.

Along with Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Modesto, four other metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 10 also reported two-year decreases in foreclosure activity: No. 6 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., where foreclosure activity was down nearly 20 percent from 2009 and nearly 10 percent from 2008; No. 7 Stockton, Calif., where foreclosure activity was down nearly 19 percent from 2009 and nearly 25 percent from 2008; No. 8 Merced, Calif., where foreclosure activity was down nearly 31 percent from 2009 and 30 percent from 2008; and No. 10 Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., where foreclosure activity was down 12 percent from 2009 and 3 percent from 2008.

Other metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 10 were Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale at No. 4 (7.27 percent); Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at No. 5 (7.08 percent); and Orlando-Kissimmee at No. 9 (6.86 percent).

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Trends in 20 largest metro areas
Foreclosure activity trends were evenly split in the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, with 10 of those metro areas showing decreasing foreclosure activity from 2009, and 10 showing increasing foreclosure activity from 2009. Foreclosure activity increased 26 percent from 2009 in Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas, the biggest increase among the 20 largest metro areas, followed by Seattle-Tacoma-Bellvue, Wash., with a nearly 23 percent increase, and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga., with a nearly 21 percent increase.

The Washington, D.C., metro area posted the biggest decrease in foreclosure activity from 2009 among the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, down 22 percent, followed by three Southern California metro areas: Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, with a 20 percent decrease; San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, with a 17 percent decrease; and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, with a 16 percent decrease.

Metros with most bank repossessions
The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area reported 55,372 bank repossessions (REO) in 2010, the most of any metro area and up 17 percent from 2009. The Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metro area reported 45,555 REOs in 2010, the second most of any metro area and an increase of nearly 20 percent from 2009, and the Detroit-Warren-Livonia metro area reported 43,541 REOs in 2010, the third most of any metro area and up 19 percent from 2009,

Other metros in the top five for most REOs in 2010 were Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, with 42,630 bank repossessions, and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, with 38,535. All five metro areas in the top five posted increasing REO activity from 2009.

Report methodology
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the year for metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more based on Census bureau estimates. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during a year may have been recorded in previous time periods. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). If more than one foreclosure document is received for a property during the year, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. If the same type of foreclosure document was filed against a property previous to the year but within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located, the report does not count the property in the year.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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