Foreclosures are 30% Higher than Last Year; Nevada, Arizona, California Worst Hit States

By Anuradha Kher, Online News Editor Irvine, Calif.–Following a high number of layoffs in January this year, and rising uncertainty over the economy, foreclosures in February across the U.S. went up by 6 percent from the previous month and nearly 30 percent year-over-year. RealtyTrac collects and aggregates foreclosure data from more than 2,200 counties, covering more than 90 percent of U.S. households (including multifamily).  Despite many of the foreclosure moratoria that were in place in January as well as February, RealtyTrac’s February Foreclosure Market Report showed 290,631 U.S. properties filing for foreclosure— default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions —during the month. The report also revealed that one in every 440 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in February. “We were surprised by the February increase because of the moratoria,” Daren Blomquist, marketing communication manager of RealtyTrac, tells MHN. “However, we believe the moratoria kept the numbers from being even higher, but the moratoria are only from certain lenders and so did not stop all foreclosure actions across the board. Risky loans taken out in the past few years, along with rising unemployment, are continuing to provide an ample supply to the foreclosure pipeline.”James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac adds, “There were some notable exceptions to this: a 45-day voluntary moratorium in Florida expired at the end of January, and foreclosure activity there was up 14 percent from the previous month; and many New York foreclosure proceedings delayed by a new law for an extra 90 days appear to have hit the system in February, when the state’s foreclosure activity increased 23 percent from the previous month.”  Nevada, Arizona, California Post Top State Foreclosure RatesNevada continued to document the nation’s top state foreclosure rate. Foreclosure filings were reported on 15,783 Nevada properties during the month, a 9 percent increase from the previous month and a 156 percent increase from February 2008. Arizona posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in February, with one in every 147 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, and California posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 165 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing. Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Oregon and Ohio. Meanwhile, California continues to lead in total number of foreclosure filings at 80,775, which is also a 5 percent increase from the previous month. The state’s foreclosure activity increased 51 percent year-on-year, with auction sale notices increasing nearly 179 percent — the most of any category on a year-over-year basis.Sunbelt Cities Post Top Metro Foreclosure RatesOne in every 60 Las Vegas housing units received a foreclosure filing in February, giving the city the nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000. The city’s foreclosure rate was more than seven times higher than the national average. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area documented the second highest foreclosure rate in February, with one in every 65 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.