The Real Deal Miami

Miami tops nation with foreclosures in July

Miami still has strong numbers of lender-owned properties
By Sean Stewart-Muniz | August 20, 2015 09:45AM

(Click to enlarge) A chart of bank repossessions in the United States over the past 10 years.

Miami had the nation’s highest rate of residential foreclosures during the month of July, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.

The report shows that one in every 339 homes in the Miami metropolitan area saw foreclosure filings last month. That rate was three times the national average, which stood at one in every 1,057 homes.

Though Jacksonville, Florida, reported a slightly higher foreclosure rate (one in every 310 housing units), Miami was at the top among the nation’s 20 biggest cities. It has remained one of the nation’s leading cities for foreclosures since the market’s downturn, but the number of distressed properties in the metro area has gradually declined over the years.

Mike Pappas, owner of Keyes Co.

“The remnants of our South Florida distressed market are seen in the strong REO numbers — double what they were last year,” Mike Pappas, CEO and president of the Keyes Company, wrote in the report. “The short sales have basically been eliminated and our long judicial system is finally clearing out the last vestiges of these REO properties.”

However, that trend was halted in July when Florida, and by association Miami, experienced an influx of new foreclosure starts.

RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist

The state saw a 16 percent increase in foreclosure starts in July, compared to the same month last year, with one in every 408 housing units having a foreclosure filing. Its increase was the fifth-highest in the nation, with Massachusetts leading by a mile — that state saw an incredible 130 percent increase in foreclosure starts year-over-year.

Overall, the nation’s foreclosure rate grew 7 percent last month to a total of 124,910 housing units with filings on them. This marks the fifth month of increases, following a trend of decreases that lasted 53 months.

“The increase in overall foreclosure activity over the last five months has been driven primarily by rapidly rising bank repossessions, which in July reached the highest level since January 2013,” wrote RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist. “Meanwhile foreclosure [stats] in July were at the lowest level since November 2005 — a nearly 10-year low that demonstrates the recent rise in bank repossessions represents banks flushing out old distress rather than new distress being pushed into the pipeline.”