RealtyTrac: 57% of Metros See Increase in Foreclosure Activity

RealtyTrac: 57% of Metros See Increase in Foreclosure Activity

BY: ESTHER CHO

More than half of the nation’s largest metros experienced an upturn in foreclosure activity in 2012 compared to 2011, according to a report from RealtyTrac.

RealtyTrac observed foreclosure trends in 212 markets with a population of 200,000 or more and found 120 markets, or 57 percent, displayed an increase in foreclosure activity from 2011. At its peak, foreclosure activity was up in 181 out of 212 metros in 2010.

“Markets with increasing foreclosure activity in 2012 took the first step in finally purging delayed distress left over from the bursting housing bubble,” said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac.

“Meanwhile, the underlying fundamentals in many of those markets are slowly improving, making it an opportune time to absorb additional foreclosure inventory this year — and that is particularly good news for buyers and investors hungry for more inventory to purchase in those markets,” he added.

Among the 20 largest metros, 12 experienced a slowdown in foreclosure activity in 2012 compared to 2011, according to RealtyTrac. The five large metros that led with the biggest declines were Phoenix (37 percent), San Francisco (30 percent), Detroit (26 percent), Los Angeles (24 percent), and San Diego (24 percent).

Out of the eight large metros where foreclosure activity picked up, Tampa led with the biggest surge—80 percent—while Miami ranked as a distant second with its 36 percent increase. Baltimore (34 percent increase), Chicago (30 percent increase), and New York (28 percent increase) rounded out the top five.

California markets dominated the top five list for their high foreclosure rates, beginning with Stockton, where 3.98 percent of housing units received a foreclosure filing in 2012. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario ranked second with its foreclosure rate of 3.86 percent, while Modesto (3.82 percent) and Vallejo-Fairfield (3.73 percent) took the next two spots. Miami broke the trend by ranking No. 5.

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