Florida Battles Highest Foreclosure Rates

January 23, 2014

While foreclosures have fallen by 26 percent nationwide in the past year, Florida continues to be a hotbed for foreclosures, according to recent data from RealtyTrac. Among the top 10 cities with the highest foreclosure rates in the country, eight are in Florida. 

Long delays in processing the foreclosures have been part of the state’s problem. It ranks No. 3 among states with the longest timelines for completed foreclosures, taking an average of 944 days in the state. (In New York, it takes an average of 1,029 days, and in New Jersey, it takes 999 days.)

“Millions of home owners are still living in the shadow of the massive foreclosure crisis that the country experienced over the past eight years since the housing bubble burst — both in the form of homes lost directly to foreclosure as well as home equity lost as a result of a flood of discounted distressed sales,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.  “But the shadow cast by the foreclosure crisis is shrinking as fewer distressed properties enter foreclosure and properties already in foreclosure are poised to exit in greater numbers in 2014, given the greater numbers of scheduled foreclosure auctions in 2013 in judicial states — which account for the bulk of U.S. foreclosure inventory.”

Florida’s scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions are up 53 percent in the past year. Scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions are also up in other states facing high foreclosures, such as Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New York. 

According to RealtyTrac, the following 10 metro areas posted the highest foreclosure rates in the U.S. in 2013: 

  1. Miami: 3.93 percent of housing units received a foreclosure filing in December
  2. Jacksonville, Fla.: 3.32 percent
  3. Orlando: 3.20%
  4. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.: 3.16% 
  5. Port St. Lucie, Fla.: 3.06% 
  6. Tampa, Fla.: 3.06% 
  7. Ocala, Fla.: 2.96%
  8. Rockford, Ill.: 2.59%
  9. Las Vegas: 2.45%
  10. Sarasota, Fla.: 2.42%

—By Melissa Dittman Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

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