Future Foreclosure Hotspots You Would Not Believe
Rick Sharga, vice president of RealtyTrac, the Irvine, Calif., company that tracks foreclosures, says the dreaded "F-word" will likely set yet another record in 2011. The number of bank repossessions could go up by as much as 20 percent this year, he says, and overall foreclosure activity will probably go up by a similar amount in places you've never dreamed of.
Charlotte on My Mind: When the Democratic National Convention heads to Charlotte, N.C., next year, it may get more economic news than it bargained for. Charlotte, with its gleaming banking centers and mere 10 percent unemployment rate, is in store for a rash of foreclosures. In fact, Charlotte was one of the state's hardest hit areas and suffered mortgage defaults from changing economic fortunes even as it grew to become the 33rd largest metro area in the nation. With a population of 1.7 million, Charlotte is expected to see one in 50 homes foreclosed on, or a 37 percent increase in foreclosures from 2009.
No Sparing Spartanburg: Looking south, Spartanburg, S.C., may be the fastest-growing region in the state but it is also has the fastest growing foreclosure rate -- a whopping 228 percent spike in filings. One in 60 homes will be served with foreclosure papers thanks to two converging mortgages used during the boom, and an unemployment rate of 12.7 percent in 2009 that recently dropped to 10.9 percent. Two reasons for the spike: When employees were laid off, they couldn't pay their mortgage, and then some people participated in questionable mortgages on investment homes.
York's Yearnings: The home of the York Peppermint Pattie had unusually robust growth for a Rust-belt city during the boom, and the Pennsylvania's city's housing prices were not insane. So with affordable homes and moderate job losses -- 8.2 percent unemployment rate -- why is York even on this list? With a population of 429,000, one in 56 homes is in foreclosure, a 28 precent increase. Local experts say it's the area's slow economy and a lag that Pennsylvania often has, following national trends one step behind. Experts for see little improvement in 2011.
Virginia Beach Bingo: Bubble town. From 2002 to 2006, home prices soared in Virginia Beach, Va., as home buyers dabbled in exotic mortgage products, even service people with access to cheap government VA financing. So this area mirrored bubble markets in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona. With a population of 1.7 million, one in 54 homes went into foreclosure or a hefty 31 percent of the market. This in a market with a relatively low unemployment rate of 7.2 percent. With all those servicemen, Virginia Beach expects an employment swell of 10,000 jobs in 2011.
Tulsa Not So OK: OK, another head scratcher. Tulsa learned its lesson in the '80s oil bust and diversified it's economy. There are jobs in Tulsa, and unemployment has been running well below national levels, although the rate increased to 7.5 percent in November from 7.2 percent a year. The housing market never bubbled and there's a great deal of room for development, so home prices have remained affordable, with a median price of $142,000 at the end of the third quarter of 2010, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Population just under a million, so why are one in 50 Tulsa homes going into foreclosure with a 37 percent increase in the foreclosure rate over 2010? Job losses. They triggered a jump of 68 percent in foreclosure filings in 2009; by that number, 37 percent is a bright sign.
Savannah on my Mind: This beautiful, historic southern town has had an increase in unemployment as of late -- 37 percent in 2010. As a result, one in 40 homes is in foreclosure. And the economic recovery for 343,000 Georgians has lagged. A few years ago, most area foreclosures were in Savannah's Historic District or The Landings, charming neighborhoods where home prices were quickly bid up during the boom and plummeted in the bust. Now, most of the area's new foreclosures are concentrated in less fashionable communities, according to experts, and investors buying these up are having trouble renting them.
Albuquerque, Que Pasa?: Albuquerque was one of the nation's fastest-growing metro areas over the past decade, pulling in a youthful, educated population for the plentiful jobs and warm, arid climate. Then came the recessionary brakes, and Albuquerque has been slow to recover. Unemployment is increasing, rising to 8.6 percent in November from 7.8 percent a year earlier. And here's the danger when housing makes up part of the jobs: the metro area lost 13 percent of its construction jobs last year. All those layoffs put many people behind on their mortgage payments. Beautiful Albuquerque had the 67th highest foreclosure rate in 2010 among the 206 areas reported on by RealtyTrac. With a population of 529,000, one in 46 homes was in foreclosure with a whopping 60.32 foreclosure increase in 2010.
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