The Real Deal Miami

Florida foreclosures sales drop in fourth quarter, but new wave expected

By Alexander Britell | March 01, 2012 01:30PM

There were a total of 23,689 foreclosure sales in Florida in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 20.2 percent drop from the same period in 2010, according to a report from RealtyTrac.

Foreclosures represented a large portion of the Florida market, however, mirroring the national trend, according to Daren Blomquist, a spokesperson for RealtyTrac.

“It’s similar to what we saw nationwide,” he said. “We expect that number to come up in the next couple of quarters, because in Florida especially, with the foreclosure problems there, many of the foreclosed homes have been held off the market.”

By comparison, in 2010, 31 percent of all sales were foreclosure-related, Blomquist said.

“We expect Florida to see [a number] more like 30 percent of all sales being foreclosures,” he said.

The year-over-year drop was likely the residual effect of the foreclosure freeze in the autumn of 2010, which led to 14 months of reduced foreclosure processing.

In January, Florida saw a 36 percent jump in activity, the first positive change in 14 months. That new wave of properties could mean an increase in the number of sales, Blomquist said.

“There’s been this lull in Florida foreclosure activity,” he said. “[The increase] indicates that there’s been kind of another wave of these coming, and that’s going to translate into more foreclosure sales down the road.”

Florida had the second-highest number of foreclosure sales in the nation in the fourth quarter, trailing only California.

The average sales price of a foreclosed property in Florida was $112,282 in the period. That price represented an average discount of 26.7 percent on the value of the home.

Nationally, 24 percent of all home sales were foreclosed properties.