RealtyTrac has issued its Year-End Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report for 2010. The figures are, for the most part, grim.
The report shows that foreclosure activity increased from 2009 in 149 of the nation's 206 metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more. There was some good news, however. The metro areas with the 10 highest foreclosure rates -- including Las Vegas -- all posted decreasing foreclosure activity from 2009, and six of the top 10 also posted decreasing foreclosure activity from 2008. RealtyTrac's report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default, Notice of Default, and Lis Pendens. Past trends in foreclosures continued in the hardest hit markets: "California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona cities accounted for 19 of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates."
Las Vegas-Paradise, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., and Modesto, Calif. were the top three markets based on the percent of foreclosures compared to total homes in the metro areas. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., Stockton, Calif., Merced, Calif., Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz., Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla. and Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla. were also in the top ten based on foreclosures as a percent of total homes. This continues the trend of high foreclosure rates in California and Florida where property values soared from 2000 to 2006. Most of these markets were substantially over-built due to an anticipation of population growth. The sharp drop in construction in these regions has also driven unemployment rates far above the U.S. average.
"Foreclosure floodwaters receded somewhat in 2010 in the nation's hardest-hit housing markets," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "Even so, foreclosure levels remained five to 10 times higher than historic norms in most of those hard-hit markets, where deep faultlines of risk remain and could potentially trigger more waves of foreclosure activity in 2011 and beyond. Meanwhile foreclosures became more widespread in 2010 as high unemployment drove activity up in 72 percent of the nation's metro areas -- many of which were relatively insulated from the initial foreclosure tsunami."
See 2010 top 20 metro foreclosure rates here.