Research firm RealtyTrac released its latest foreclosure stats today. Default notices, bank repossessions and other foreclosure related activities jumped 30% in February from the prior year. That’s more than 290,000 filings nationally and a 6% increase from January.
The results were somewhat surprising, says James J. Saccacio, the chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, because so many states and banks had made efforts to curb foreclosures through moratoriums and other measures.
Nevada, Arizona and California led the pack. One out of every seventy homes in Nevada are in some stage of foreclosure, as compared with one in 440 nationwide. In Las Vegas one in every 60 housing units received a foreclosure filing in February, giving the city the nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 80,775 California properties in February, the most of any state and a 5 percent increase from the previous month. The state’s foreclosure activity increased 51 percent from February 2008.
Florida foreclosure activity increased nearly 14 percent from the previous month and 43 percent from February 2008 — thanks in large part to a nearly 158 percent year-over-year increase in auction sale notices and a 128 percent year-over-year increase in bank repossessions.
Arizona posted the third highest state total in February, with 18,119 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the month — a 23 percent increase from the previous month and an 88 percent increase from February 2008.
Nevada, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Georgia and Virginia also reported foreclosure totals that were among the nation’s 10 highest.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.