SOURCE: RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac

July 26, 2012 00:01 ET

59 Percent of U.S. Metro Areas Post Higher Foreclosure Activity in First Half of 2012 Than Previous Six Months

Tampa, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York Post Biggest Increases Among Large Metros; Second Quarter Foreclosure Starts Increase in 62 Percent of Metros

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 26, 2012) - RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its Midyear 2012 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report, which shows that foreclosure activity in the first half of 2012 increased from the previous six months in 125 of the nation's 212 metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more. Despite the increases from the second half of 2011, 129 of the metro areas still posted year-over-year decreases in foreclosure activity.

California accounted for seven of the 10 highest metro foreclosure rates and 10 of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates during the first half of the year. Florida accounted for four of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates, and Illinois accounted for two of the top 20. Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado each had one city in the top 20.

"Increasing foreclosure starts in many local markets helped push total foreclosure activity higher in the first half of this year compared to the second half of 2011," said Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. "Those foreclosure starts are welcome news for prospective buyers and real estate brokers in many local markets where a shortage of aggressively priced inventory has been holding up sales activity. Markets with increasing foreclosure starts will likely see more distressed inventory for sale in the form of short sales and bank-owned properties in the second half of the year." 

Top 10 metro foreclosure rates
Stockton, Calif., posted the nation's highest metro foreclosure rate, 2.66 percent of housing units (one in every 38) with a foreclosure filing in the first half of 2012 -- more than three times the national average. There were a total of 6,218 Stockton properties with a foreclosure filing during the six-month period, a decrease of 13 percent from the previous six months and a decrease of 16 percent from the first half of 2011.

Four other California cities ranked in the top 5 metro foreclosure rates despite decreasing foreclosure activity: Modesto at No. 2 (2.61 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario at No. 3 (2.59 percent), Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 4 (2.56 percent), and Merced at No. 5 (2.15 percent).

Atlanta was the only metro area with a top 10 foreclosure rate to register increasing foreclosure activity in the first half of 2012. A total of 46,267 Atlanta area properties had a foreclosure filing during the six-month period, 2.14 percent of all housing units (one in every 47) -- the nation's sixth highest metro foreclosure rate. Atlanta area foreclosure activity increased 3 percent from the previous six months and was up 5 percent from the first half of 2011.

Other metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 10 were Phoenix at No. 7 (2.08 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing), Bakersfield, Calif., at No. 8 (2.07 percent), Las Vegas at No. 9 (2.04 percent), and Visalia-Porterville, Calif., at No. 10 (2.03 percent).

Trends in 20 largest metro areas
Half of the nation's 20 largest metro areas in terms of population documented increasing foreclosure activity from the previous six months, led by the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area in Florida with a 47 percent increase.

Foreclosure activity during the first half of the year increased more than 20 percent from second half of 2011 in Philadelphia (30 percent), Chicago (28 percent), New York (26 percent), and Baltimore (21 percent).

Seattle foreclosure activity in the first half of 2012 decreased 24 percent from the previous six months, the biggest drop among the nation's 20 largest metro areas. Other large metro areas where first half foreclosure activity decreased more than 10 percent from the second half of 2011 were San Francisco (21 percent), Detroit (17 percent), Los Angeles (13 percent), Boston (12 percent), and San Diego (11 percent).

Despite a 9 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous six months, the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area in Southern California registered the highest foreclosure rate among the 20 largest metro areas, followed by Atlanta, Phoenix, Miami and Chicago.

Best metros for foreclosure buying and investing in second half of 2012
Second quarter foreclosure starts increased from the previous quarter in more than 60 percent of all metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more, and those markets represent areas where more foreclosure inventory will likely be available for sale in the second half of the year.

Among the 132 metro areas with increasing foreclosure starts in the second quarter, RealtyTrac ranked the 10 best markets for foreclosure buying and investing in the second half of 2012. The top 10 list is comprised of metros where the average foreclosure sales price is increasing on an annual basis, average foreclosure sale discounts are still 15 percent or higher, and the unsold inventory of bank-owned homes represents a supply of 20 months or fewer.

Metro Q2 2012 FC Starts FC
Starts %Change from Q1 2012
Q1 2012 Avg FC Sales Price Sales Price %Change from Q1 2011 Q1 2012 Avg Foreclosure Discount % REO Inventory Months' Supply
Durham, NC 185 62.28 $154,951 19.44 24.68 11.28
Springfield, MA 401 59.76 $99,293 11.63 46.46 13.92
Olympia, WA 197 58.87 $183,806 9.69 15.82 9.20
Boston, MA 1,804 52.36 $204,702 7.13 44.64 17.92
Providence, RI 327 42.79 $136,901 7.07 36.42 14.63
Worcester, MA 573 39.08 $138,911 12.76 38.44 13.61
Montgomery, AL 285 37.02 $95,092 10.78 34.76 16.98
Cleveland, OH 3,165 34.00 $69,468 9.05 37.27 15.33
San Luis Obispo, CA 365 8.31 $322,812 6.00 23.29 7.95
Phoenix, AZ 13,606 8.12 $130,763 7.25 22.48 11.10

Click here to learn about RealtyTrac's report methodology and to access charts illustrating recent foreclosure trends.

Report License 
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

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Detailed and historical foreclosure data used to create the above report may be purchased through the RealtyTrac Data Licensing Department at 949.502.8300 Ext. 158. Aggregate data is available at the state, metro, county and zip code levels dating back to 2005, and address-level foreclosure records are also available historically.

About RealtyTrac Inc. 
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is the leading online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 1.5 million default, auction and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, along with detailed property, loan and home sales data. Hosting millions of unique monthly visitors, RealtyTrac provides innovative technology solutions and practical education resources to facilitate buying, selling and investing in real estate. RealtyTrac's foreclosure data has also been used by the Federal Reserve, FBI, U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and Banking Committee, U.S. Treasury Department, and numerous state housing and banking departments, private companies and academic institutions to help evaluate foreclosure trends and address policy issues related to foreclosures.

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