Fla. drops to No. 2 U.S. foreclosure state in Oct.


IRVINE, Calif. – Nov. 13, 2014 – In October, Florida was no longer at the top of the list for foreclosures, according to the latest RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for October 2014.

In Maryland, 5,943 Maryland properties had a foreclosure filing for the month – a 68 percent jump from the previous month and up 30 percent year-to-year – and bumping it from the No. 1 position that Florida held one month earlier.

The Florida foreclosure rate (one in every 444 housing units with a filing) ranked second highest among the states. Florida foreclosure activity in October was down 2 percent from the previous month and down 25 percent year-to-year. It's the 15th consecutive month Florida has had a year-to-year decrease.

In a look at metro areas (metropolitan statistical areas or MSAs), four Florida cities made the top five list:

1. Miami posted the highest U.S. foreclosure rate for areas with a population of 200,000 or more, increasing 11 percent from the previous month thanks to a 67 percent monthly spike in foreclosure starts, though Miami foreclosures declined 27 percent year-to-year.

2. Orlando foreclosure activity decreased both annually (13 percent) and monthly (15 percent); however, its foreclosure rate still ranked second highest nationwide. One in every 394 housing units in Orlando had a foreclosure filing in October, nearly three times the national average.

3. Despite a 23 percent year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity, Tampa posted the nation's third highest metro foreclosure rate in October: one in every 395 housing units with a foreclosure filing.

4. Foreclosure activity also decreased from a year ago in Jacksonville (37 percent), but it still had the nation's fourth highest metro foreclosure rate (one in every 433 housing units with a foreclosure filing)

5. Foreclosure activity increased 13 percent from a year ago in Baltimore, Md. – the nation's fifth highest metro foreclosure rate (one in every 435 housing units with a foreclosure filing).

The remaining five metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 10 highest are Cape Coral-Fort Myers at No. 6 (one in every 445 housing units); Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md., at No. 7 (one in every 458 housing units);Lakeland, Fla., at No. 8 (one in every 460 housing units); Visalia, Calif., at No. 9 (one in every 474 housing units); and Pensacola, Fla., at No. 10 (one in every 481 housing units).

A number of Florida homes were bumped from the foreclosure list because they sold at auction, including a 23 percent jump in Orlando completed auctions.

Other Florida cities had an uptick in auctions scheduled but not yet completed, including Cape Coral-Fort Myers(up 170 percent), Lakeland (up 678 percent) and Orlando (up 33 percent).

"The backlog of delayed foreclosures continues to make its way through the pipeline, with many homeowners letting their homes fall into foreclosure when the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 expired at the end of 2013," says Mike Pappas, CEO and President of the Keyes Company in Southern Florida.

"However, we are transitioning from a distressed market to a normal market," Pappas adds. "The 27 percent decline in the distressed numbers for South Florida confirms we are in the fourth quarter of the distressed game."

National foreclosures

Nationwide, foreclosure filings were reported on 123,109 U.S. properties in October – an increase of 15 percent month-to-month, but an 8 percent decrease year-to-year. The monthly increase is the largest since U.S. foreclosure activity peaked in March 2010.

A total of 59,869 U.S. properties were scheduled for foreclosure auction during the month, up 24 percent from the previous month and up 7 percent from a year ago. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in judicial foreclosure states, which include Florida, increased 21 percent month-to-month; scheduled foreclosure auctions in non-judicial states increased 27 percent.

"The October foreclosure numbers are not a complete surprise … as banks try to get ahead of the usual holiday foreclosure moratoriums," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "But the sheer magnitude of the increase this year demonstrates there is more than just a seasonal pattern at work. Distressed properties that have been in a holding pattern for years are finally being cleared for landing at the foreclosure auction.

Blomquist says there's still strong demand for foreclosures from large institutional investors, and "banks can be confident in selling REO properties quickly and at a good price."

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

For public release posted on Penny Lehmann, Coldwell Banker Top Producer, Cape Coral, Florida