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Florida foreclosures down 59 percent in first half of year: report

By Alexander Britell | July 13, 2011 06:02PM

There were a total of 113,631 Florida properties with foreclosure filings in the first six months of this year, a 59 percent drop over the same period in 2010, according to RealtyTrac data released today.

Nationally, foreclosures were down 29 percent for the first half of the year.

“It would be nice to report that foreclosure activity is dropping as a result of improvements in the economy or the housing market,” RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio said in a release. “Unfortunately, with unemployment rates inching back up, consumer confidence weak and home sales and prices continuing to languish, this doesn’t appear to be the case.”

Florida’s foreclosure activity has been dropping with relative consistency since the first reports of the foreclosure document scandal, which led several banks to order a freeze on foreclosure activity.

Saccacio said processing and other procedural delays were pushing back foreclosures to such a degree that as many as 1 million foreclosures nationwide that should have taken place this year will happen in 2012 or beyond.

“This casts an ominous shadow over the housing market,” he said.

Despite the nationwide drop, Florida saw more foreclosure filings than any state, but California. One out of every housing units in Florida has a foreclosure filing, according to the data.

Florida’s foreclosures did show a slight uptick in the second quarter, with a 1.64 percent increase over the first three months of 2011.