Foreclosure sales volume up in South Florida, down statewide

Like the rest of the nation, Florida saw a decrease in the amount of foreclosure sales in the third quarter, in large part due to the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac.

There were 34,186 sales of properties in some stage of foreclosure in Florida in the third quarter, the second-highest total in the nation but down approximately 7.65 percent from the third quarter of 2009 and 13.3 percent from the second quarter of this year (California had the most).

South Florida, however, saw a jump in the number of sales. Miami-Dade County foreclosure sales rose 12.94 percent compared with the third quarter of 2009. Palm Beach County saw an increase of 23.49 percent and Broward County saw an increase of 1.49 percent. There were a total of 11,982 foreclosure sales in the region in the last quarter.

Nationally, there were 188,748 properties at some stage of foreclosure — including default, auction or REO — that were sold to third parties, a drop of 25 percent from the previous quarter and down 31 percent from the third quarter of 2009.

RealtyTrac spokesperson Daren Blomquist attributed the decline in foreclosure sales volume to a decrease in homebuyer demand due to the expiration of the federal tax credits.

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“We believe that’s because of the drop-off in buyer demand that happened when the homebuyer tax credit expired at the end of the second quarter. Buyers didn’t have that $8,000 incentive to go out and buy anymore, so that was expected.”

Blomquist also said that the overall foreclosure sales drop was directly affected by the tax credits as well.

While the foreclosure process has largely resumed, the freeze could still have a downward effect on the state for the fourth quarter.

“[The freezes are] really not good for the market in the long run,” Blomquist said. “The quicker that issue with the foreclosure processing can be resolved the better. That foreclosure inventory really does need to be sold and cleared off the market.”

Additional reporting by Sarabeth Sanders