Real Estate News | Residential Real Estate
New Wave of Home Foreclosures Hits the Nation
By Alex Finkelstein | January 28, 2010 12:00 AM ET
In its Year-End 2009 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report, RealtyTrac shows that cities in four Sun Belt states accounted for all top 20 foreclosure rates in 2009 among metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more.
Even more worrisome--foreclosure activity shows signs of spreading into previously insulated areas as unemployment became more of a driving factor.
California accounted for nine of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates, followed by Florida with eight, Nevada with two and Arizona with one.
The highest-ranked metro area outside of those four states was in Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, which ranked No. 24 with 4.66 percent of its housing units receiving at least one foreclosure notice in 2009.
"While it was expected that cities from states with the highest levels of foreclosure activity would top the charts, there is evidence that we're entering a new wave of foreclosures, driven more by unemployment and economic hardship than what we've seen over the past few years," says James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
"Areas like Provo, Utah, Fayetteville, Ark., Portland, Ore., and Rockford, Ill., all posted foreclosure rates above the U.S. average in 2009.
"And markets like Honolulu, Minneapolis and Seattle saw foreclosure activity increase at more than twice the national pace over the past 12 months -- although all three of those markets still had 2009 foreclosure rates that were at or below the U.S. average."
Top 10 Metro Foreclosure Rates
Las Vegas posted the nation's highest metro foreclosure rate for the year, with more than 12 percent of its housing units receiving a foreclosure notice in 2009 -- more than five times the national average. Las Vegas reported a quarter-over-quarter decline in foreclosure activity in the fourth quarter -- as did all the other metro areas with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 for 2009.
With 11.87 percent of its housing units receiving a foreclosure notice in 2009, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., documented the second highest metro foreclosure rate. Other Florida cities in the top 10 were Orlando-Kissimmee at No. 7 (8.17 percent), Port St. Lucie at No. 9 (7.58 percent), and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at No. 10 (7.16 percent).
Merced, Calif., registered the nation's third highest metro foreclosure rate, with more than 10 percent of its housing units receiving a foreclosure notice in 2009. Other California cities in the top 10 were Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario at No. 4 (8.80 percent), Stockton at No. 5 (8.62 percent), and Modesto at No. 6 (8.53 percent).
The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area in Arizona documented the nation's eighth highest metro foreclosure rate in 2009, with more than 8 percent of its housing units receiving a foreclosure notice during the year.
2009 U.S. Metro Foreclosure Market Data
*Actual increase may not be as high due to data collection changes or improvements
**Collection of records classified as NOD began in August 2009 because of change in state law
† Collection of some records previously classified as NOD in this MSA was discontinued starting in January 2009
†† Collection of some records previously classified as NOD in this MSA was discontinued starting in September 2008