The Real Deal Miami

South Florida foreclosure filings are up, but numbers may signal plateau

By Alexander Britell | July 12, 2012 06:00PM

The recent surge of South Florida foreclosure filings is beginning to slow down, according to data from RealtyTrac. While the number of tri-county properties with foreclosure filings rose for the seventh straight month, there were only 10 percent more filings in June than there were in the same period in 2011.

That was a far smaller increase than in the first several months of the upswing that began at the end of 2011, when increases regularly exceeded 40 percent. In April, for example, processing increased by 77 percent compared to the same month in 2011.

“It may or may not be an indication of a long-term trend coming, if you look at the first half of the year,” RealtyTrac spokesperson Daren Blomquist told The Real Deal. “But banks continue to start more foreclosure processes than they [did] a year ago.”

The last seven months of increased foreclosure filings came after a long lull in foreclosure activity brought about by the robo-signing scandal, when banks became reluctant to begin processing foreclosures.

“June could be a further indication if there is a kind of ceiling as to how many of these foreclosures can be processed each month,” Blomquist said. “And we may be getting close to that.”

There were a total of 7,405 properties with foreclosure filings in June, led by Miami-Dade County with 3,260. That represented a 7 percent decrease from the previous month.

South Florida foreclosure filings rose 24 percent in the first half of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011, according to the report.

Nationally, foreclosure activity fell 11 percent in the first six months of 2012.

Given what remains a significant backlog, however, Blomquist predicted South Florida’s foreclosure processing would continue to trend higher.

“There’s still a lot of distressed inventory in the Miami market,” he said. “The banks have a lot of distressed loans out there.”