The Real Deal Miami

Florida foreclosure filings account for 16 percent of nation’s total

Tri-county region sees double- and triple-digit leaps in first-quarter
By Sarabeth Sanders | April 14, 2010 07:03PM

South Florida’s tri-county region saw foreclosure filings spike in the first quarter of 2010, up nearly 110 percent year-over-year in Palm Beach County, 67 percent in Broward and 60 percent in Miami-Dade, according to national real estate foreclosure tracking company RealtyTrac, which released its monthly market report today (see the full report below).

One in every 38 Broward County homes, or 21,308 in total, received notice of some stage of the foreclosure process — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — during the quarter. The county’s foreclosure rate won it a third-place ranking in the state for the three-month period, behind Osceola and Lee counties. In eighth-ranked Miami-Dade County, there were 19,918 foreclosure filings last quarter, affecting one in every 49 households. Palm Beach ranked 14th in terms of its foreclosure rate, which was one in every 58 households during the first quarter, or 10,998 filings in total.

Statewide, more than 153,000 Florida properties, roughly 16 percent of the nation’s total, were hit with foreclosure filings in the first quarter, up 7 percent from the quarter before and 28.79 percent over the first quarter of 2009. For the second quarter in a row, Florida had the third-highest foreclosure rate — one in every 57 homes — in the nation, behind Nevada and Arizona, respectively.

Florida’s numbers echoed the nationwide trend, in which foreclosures rose 7 percent from the quarter before and 16 percent from the same period last year. There were 932,234 U.S. homes hit with foreclosure filings during January, February and March, a rate of one in every 138 households. March alone brought notices to 367,056 properties — the highest monthly total since January 2005, when RealtyTrac issued its first monthly report.

“Foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2010 followed a very similar pattern to what we saw in the first quarter of 2009: a shallow trough in January and February followed by a substantial spike in March,” RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio said in a statement.

This year, though, the foreclosure spike could be a sign of more to come. “The increases were more tilted toward the final state of foreclosure,” Saccacio said. “[That] may be further evidence that lenders are starting to make a dent in the backlog of distressed inventory that has built up over the last year as foreclosure prevention programs and processing delays slowed down the normal foreclosure time line.”
Realty Trac March and Q1 2010 National Data FINAL