Foreclosure Hot Spots Claim New Metros: RealtyTrac

Cities in California, Florida, and Nevada are still home to the 10 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates, according to a new report released Wednesday by RealtyTrac.

But rising unemployment and a new round of mortgage resets have initiated a gradual shift in the nation’s foreclosure epicenters, away from the hot spots of the last two years, toward cities that, until now, could claim relatively small foreclosure numbers.

Based on RealtyTrac’s “Q3 2009 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report,” five of those top 10 metro areas in the Sand States reported decreasing foreclosure activity compared to the same time last year, while other metro areas in the top 50 reported especially sharp increases in foreclosure filings.

“While toxic subprime mortgages drove much of that first wave of foreclosures, high unemployment and exotic Alt-A Option ARMs are spreading the foreclosure flood to more metro areas in 2009,” commented James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.

RealtyTrac’s market data shows that the three biggest year-over-year foreclosure increases popped up in Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, and Provo-Orem and Salt Lake City in Utah.

In California, the Chico metro area – not previously a focal point for foreclosure activity in the Golden State – posted the biggest year-over-year jump, with a 98 percent increase from the third quarter of 2008. The medium-sized metro about 100 miles north of Sacramento had a 12.8 percent unemployment rate in August, above the state and national averages.

A similar trend was seen in cities like Reno-Sparks, Nevada, with 80 percent year-over-year growth in foreclosure activity; Prescott, Arizona, where foreclosures are up 77 percent; and Jacksonville, Florida, posting a 64 percent increase. Rockford, Illinois also reported a 64 percent upsurge in foreclosures, and Lansing-East Lansing, Michigan posted a 41 percent increase.

Even though the foreclosure crisis seems to be dispersing, the usual suspects are far from out of the woods.

Las Vegas posted the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 20 homes in Sin City receiving a foreclosure filing last quarter – an increase of nearly 9 percent from the previous quarter and up nearly 54 percent from the third quarter of 2008.

Despite a 13 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous quarter and a 11 percent decline from a year ago, Merced, California posted the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate, with one in 27 of its housing units in foreclosure during the third quarter.

Foreclosure activity in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area in Florida also decreased from the previous quarter and from the third quarter of 2008, but the metro area still registered the nation’s third highest foreclosure ra

 

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