RealtyTrac: IRVINE, Calif. – Sept. 17, 2015 – The latest U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from RealtyTrac finds a 33 percent drop in foreclosure activity in Florida. While the state still has inventory to work through the system, an increase in bank takeovers and a drop in new homes entering the foreclosure process bumped the state from its No. 1 position for foreclosures to the No. 4 spot. Florida’s foreclosure rate dropped out of the top three for the first time since June 2012 thanks in part to a 33 percent year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity in August to the lowest level since April 2007. Nationwide, foreclosure starts dropped to its lowest level since November 2005. In Florida, the number of new homes entering the foreclosure process declined 40 percent year-to-year. While 29 other states also saw a decline, it was less significant, including California (down 29 percent from year ago), New Jersey (down 38 percent), Texas (down 17 percent) and Maryland (down 26 percent). Bank repossessions – which take homes out of the foreclosure process – increased from a year ago in 36 states, including Florida, where they rose 23 percent. However, bank takeovers occurred in greater percentages in other states, including California (up 31 percent), Texas (up 168 percent), Ohio (up 35 percent) and New Jersey (up 295 percent). A few Florida cities led the nation in a decline in overall August foreclosure activity. Miami topped the list of major markets with a 37 percent decline, followed by San Francisco (down 35 percent), Atlanta (down 28 percent), Tampa-St. Petersburg (down 23 percent) and San Diego (down 21 percent).
“We saw a small increase in REOs,” says Mike Pappas, CEO and president of the Keyes Company covering the South Florida market. “The market is easily absorbing them at higher prices, and we are cleaning out the remnants from our ponderous judicial system.”
Pappas says the “decline in new (foreclosure) filings indicates bright skies ahead.”
As a percentage of all homes with a mortgage, Florida metro areas still landed in seven of the top 10 national spots. Two New Jersey cities, Atlantic City and Trenton, topped the list, followed by Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach (one in every 418 housing units with a foreclosure filing), Ocala (one in every 445 housing units), Jacksonville (one in every 462 housing units), Tampa-St. Petersburg (one in every 527 housing units) and Pensacola at No. 7 (one in every 541 housing units).
Rockford, Illinois, Las Vegas and Fayetteville, North Carolina rounded out the metro area top 10.