Foreclosure activity in the first half of this year increased from the previous six months in 59% of the nation's metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 – 129 out of 212 markets – according to new data from Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac. But despite the increases from the second half of 2011, 129 of the metro areas still posted year-over-year decreases in foreclosure activity.
RealtyTrac reports that California accounted for seven of the 10 highest metro foreclosure rates and 10 of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates during the first half of the year. Stockton, Calif., posted the nation's highest metro foreclosure rate, 2.66% of housing units (one in every 38) with a foreclosure filing in the first half of the year – more than three times the national average.
Florida accounted for four of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates, and Illinois accounted for two of the top 20. Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado each had one city in the top 20.
‘Increasing foreclosure starts in many local markets helped push total foreclosure activity higher in the first half of this year compared to the second half of 2011,’ says Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. ‘Those foreclosure starts are welcome news for prospective buyers and real estate brokers in many local markets where a shortage of aggressively priced inventory has been holding up sales activity. Markets with increasing foreclosure starts will likely see more distressed inventory for sale in the form of short sales and bank-owned properties in the second half of the year.’