Florida Foreclosures Third Highest in Nation

8 01 2007

Foreclosures in Florida dropped 9 percent from November to December, but the state had the third highest amount nationwide, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac.

Florida documented 8,321 properties entering some stage of foreclosure in December. Florida’s foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure filing for every 878 households dropped it out of the nation’s 10 highest state foreclosure rates but remained above the national average.

“New foreclosure filings surpassed the 100,000 level (nationwide) for the fifth straight month, something we’ve not seen since we began issuing our foreclosure market report in January 2005,” said James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, in a release. “While the number of new foreclosure filings dropped back from the high point of 2006 in November, the combination of slower home sales and rising interest rates on adjustable mortgages continues to drive foreclosures at significantly higher numbers than a year ago.”

Foreclosure filings in the Southeast were up 37 percent last year from the year before. Foreclosures.com said the total number of foreclosures for the year in the Southeast hit 220,189, up from 160,259 in 2005. Foreclosures.com’s Southeast region includes Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and West Virginia.

Nationally, there were 970,948 foreclosure filings reported last year, up more than 51 percent from just more than 641,000 in 2005.

Nonetheless, Alexis McGee, president of Foreclosures.com, said the worst is over.

“Home inventories are dropping, and markets are improving. That means relief to some overextended homeowners who bought homes they couldn’t afford with the help of little money down and low teaser-rate mortgages,” McGee said.

Source: The Business Journal of Jacksonville

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