Hernando tops Tampa Bay in foreclosure pace
Wake up and good morning. This map, which shows the concentrations of foreclosure activity across Florida's counties last month, looks pretty nasty. Especially around the Tampa Bay area. And it is. The good news is there are some early signs that the pace of Florida foreclosure filings is easing a bit.
We've gone from a typhoon to a heavy downpour. According to RealtyTrac, which monitors foreclosure activity nationwide, Florida enjoyed a 20 percent month-over-month drop in foreclosure activity. Even so, Florida still posted the nation’s fourth highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 214 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.
Here's a breakdown for January of the concentrations of foreclosure filings by Tampa Bay area counties. In a 7-county sweep of the greater metro area, 8,336 housing units were foreclosure properties in January. This map offers an interactive look at every Florida county. Let's list them from highest to lowest concentrations:
1. Hernando County: 1 of every 176 housing units is a foreclosure property. That's 454 properties.
2. Hillsborough County: 1 of every 182 housing units is a foreclosure property. That's 2,834 properties.
3. Polk County: 1 of every 194 housing units is a foreclosure property. That's 1,424 properties.
4. Pasco County: 1 of every 215 housing units is a foreclosure property. That's 1,010 properties.
5. Pinellas County: 1 of every 259 housing units is a foreclosure property. That's 1,924 properties.
6. Citrus County: 1 of every 325 housing units is a foreclosure property. That's 232 properties.
7. Manatee County: 1 of every 369 housing units is a foreclosure property. That's 458 properties.
Combined: 8,336 housing units were foreclosure properties. Statewide, Florida’s 40,770 properties receiving foreclosure filings in January was the second highest total of any state. Put another way, about one of every seven homes nationwide that received foreclosure filings last month were in Florida.
Yikes. Rough numbers. But some other Florida counties are really taking it on the foreclosure chin.
There was a good reason, for example, why President Obama flew to Fort Myers earlier this week to campaign for support for the huge economic stimulus package winding its way through Congress. Yes, the Fort Myers area has a high, 10-percent unemployment rate. But the county there -- Lee County -- has the highest concentration of foreclosure properties in all of Florida. One of every 80 housing units is a foreclosure property. On Florida's east coast, St. Lucie County is not far behind at one in every 95 housing units.
National perspective: one in every 466 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in January.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist