Foreclosures Increase in Most Metro Areas
Today, RealtyTrac reported that foreclosure notices increased in three out of four metro areas — cities with more than 200,000 residents — in the first six months of the year, compared with the first six months of 2009. The cities and states with the biggest bubbles and biggest collapses remained the worst-hit, with the most foreclosure notices going to metro areas in Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona.
All in all, 1.6 million properties received some form of foreclosure notice between January and June. Nevertheless, the report shows that foreclosures seem to have peaked and stabilized, at least for now. The number of foreclosure notices dropped between the last half of 2009 and the first half of 2010. And foreclosure filings have declined in recent months as well.
Still, RealtyTrac warned about continued, severe problems in housing. “The midyear numbers put us on pace to exceed 3 million properties with foreclosure filings by the end of the year, and more than 1 million bank repossessions,” James Saccacio, the head of RealtyTrac, said in a release. “The roller coaster pattern of foreclosure activity over the past 12 months demonstrates that while the foreclosure problem is being managed on the surface, a massive number of distressed properties and underwater loans continues to sit just below the surface, threatening the fragile stability of the housing market.”
Notably, foreclosure tracks closely with unemployment, and the two feed into one another. Regions with higher rates of joblessness have more families that cannot afford their mortgages. Regions with more homes in foreclosure have more families that cannot move to find work.