Thursday, November 15, 2007

California, Florida, Ohio Cities Top Foreclosures

The foreclosure explosion continues to expand. This CNBC story shows how bad the situation has become in some particularly ravaged markets ( From what I continue to hear within the housing industry, the worst has yet to arrive. Here are some highlights:

Cities in California, Florida and Ohio dominated the 25 U.S. metro areas with the highest home foreclosure rates, though rates jumped in most of the top regions during the third quarter, RealtyTrac said on Wednesday. Foreclosure filings rose in 77 of the largest 100 metropolitan areas from the prior quarter, according to the Irvine, California-based marketer of foreclosure properties. A broad credit and liquidity crisis during the third quarter exacerbated U.S. housing industry troubles, pushing sales sharply lower and unsold inventory to record highs.

Overall, U.S. residential foreclosure filings nearly doubled in the third quarter from a year earlier, RealtyTrac reported earlier this month. California cities accounted for seven of the top 25 metro foreclosure rates. Florida and Ohio each accounted for five of the top 25 spots. Home prices in California had surged by double digits in each of the first five years of the decade, and are now leading the price declines that are depressing the U.S. housing market. A large share of loans in recent years were adjustable-rate and other products aimed at improving affordability. But payment shock after large interest-rate adjustments has made the default and foreclosure rate spike. Florida has been hurt also by a glut of condos and homes that speculators have been unable to flip, or sell quickly, and are now priced less than the value of the mortgage.

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