The Real Deal Miami

SF foreclosures keep falling, but REO uptick signals rebound

By Alexander Britell | June 16, 2011 01:20PM

South Florida foreclosures fell by 62 percent last month, as the state still endures the effects of the foreclosure document scandal from last fall according to a report from RealtyTrac. But rising REO activity could signal a jump back to high-volume foreclosure activity.

There were a total of 6,656 properties with foreclosure filings in the tri-county area in May, a 62 percent decrease from May 2010. Miami-Dade County saw 2,768 properties with filings, the most activity in South Florida.

“The foreclosure processing issues and the documentation issues that have hit Florida particularly hard is the result of the volatility we see in the numbers,” said Daren Blomquist, a spokesperson for RealtyTrac. “The decreases we’ve been seeing are not a result of the market magically recovering all of a sudden.”

Despite the dramatic decrease in total filings, there was actually a 55 percent increase in REO activity statewide from April, something Blomquist said is a reminder of the volume of properties that are still in the system.

“There’s still a lot of distressed inventory out there,” he said. “This type of spike shows that there is still that inventory that the banks have just been delaying.”

South Florida had a smaller increase in REO activity than the rest of the state with a 1 percent jump from April, to 2,003 total REO filings.

Statewide, there were a total of 19,192 foreclosure filings in May, the second-highest number in the country after California, although that number was a 62.1 percent decrease from the same period in 2010.

Miami-Dade County was among the top 10 counties in Florida in foreclosure frequency, with a rate of one foreclosure for every 354 residential units, the ninth most in the state.

The United States saw a total of 214,927 properties with foreclosure filings, a 2 percent decrease from April and a 33 percent reduction from May of 2010. One out of every 605 housing units in America received a foreclosure filing last month.