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Robert Trigaux

A second look at Florida foreclosure rates



Wake up and good morning. We've heard month after month after month that Florida and the Tampa Bay area have some of the highest foreclosure rates, so the latest report for all of 2008 from RealtyTrac is no great surprise. Let's rocket through the basic data and get on to the more interesting trends:

1. Nationwide, for all of 2008, there were 3,157,806 foreclosure filings (consisting of default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions) reported on 2,330,483 U.S. properties. That's an 81 percent increase in total properties from 2007 and a 225 percent increase in total properties from 2006.

2. Nationally, one in 54, or 1.84 percent of all U.S. housing units received at least one foreclosure filing during the year, up from 1.03 percent in 2007.

3. Florida registered the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in 2008, with 4.52 percent of its housing units (one in 22) receiving at least one foreclosure filing during the year. That was topped only by Nevada, with more than 7 percent of housing units (one in 14) receiving at least one foreclosure notice. Arizona registered the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate (4.49 percent or one in 22). Other states with Top 10 foreclosure rates for 2008 were California, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Illinois and New Jersey.

4. The Tampa Bay area ranked 13th in 2008 among major metro area's with 4.14 percent of its housing units receiving at least one foreclosure filing during the year. Affected were 53,630 units in 2008.

Sorry, Tampa Bay. You almost made the Top 10 metro areas in foreclosure rates but no dice. Stockton, Calif., registered the highest foreclosure rate (9.46 percent) among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas in 2008. Las Vegas documented the second highest rate (8.89 percent).

Among Florida metro areas, who was tops? Fort Lauderdale, which ranked No. 6 nationwide with 5.95 percent (one in 17 housing units). Other Florida cities in the top 10 were (surprising to me) Orlando at No. 7 (5.48 percent, or one in 18 housing units) and (not surprising to me) Miami at No. 8 (5.21 percent, or one in 19 housing units). At No. 11 was Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice with 4.5 percent.

So put another way, Tampa Bay ranked No. 5 among large Florida metro areas in foreclosure rates for 2008. Only two other Florida metro areas were reported among the nation's top 100: Palm Beach, ranked No. 16 with 3.71 percent, and Jacksonville, No. 22, had 2.99 percent.

Measured on a county-by-county basis, Lee County -- home to both Cape Coral and Fort Myers -- was No. 1 in Florida.

Okay, let's look again at the major Florida metro areas. This time, let's rank them, greatest to least, by the percentage change in foreclosures in 2008 from 2007. Here's what we get:

1. Orlando, up 195.84 percent. (Here's what the Orlando Sentinel reported): "In Central Florida, Osceola County had the highest foreclosure rate, with 10,529, or 9.6 percent, of all households caught in the process at some point last year. That was three times as many homes as in 2007 -- and 10 times as many as in 2006. Statewide, only Lee County had a higher rate, 12 percent."

2. Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, up 153.58 percent. Here's the Sarasota Herald-Tribune story.

3. Fort Lauderdale, up 127.81 percent. Here's the Sun-Sentinel's take on local conditions there.

4. Tampa Bay, up 122.66 percent. Not much to brag about here.

5. Miami, up 96.46 percent. The Miami Herald did not localize its coverage of area foreclosure rates.

6. Palm Beach, up 96.33 percent. The Palm Beach Post did not localize its coverage of area foreclosure rates.

7. Jacksonville, up 78.46 percent. Here's the Times-Union take.

So, ranking our metro areas in this way, Orlando becomes tops in the state while Fort Lauderdale (No. 1 in the earlier conventional ranking) drops to No. 3. And Tampa Bay, 5th earlier, rises one spot to No. 4. And lucky Jacksonville ranks last (in fact having a lower uptick in foreclosures from 2007 than the nation as a whole) in both rankings -- for once a good time to bring up the rear.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:23am]


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