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Foreclosures drag Ohio home values down $1.6 billion since 2009

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Foreclosures in Ohio's three largest cities caused an estimated $1.6 billion loss to home property valuations around those areas since 2009, evidence the state is still feeling the effects of the housing crisis. National People's Action, a national network of community organizations, analyzed foreclosure trends in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus between January 2009 and March 2011. The report released Monday cited a study that found every foreclosure impacts properties within a 500-foot radius and decreases the home value by 0.74%. Using these statistics, the consumer group found the 45,000 foreclosures in these cities since 2009 dragged down home values by a collective $1.6 billion. "Columbus is estimated to have lost some $576 million in declining home values, Cincinnati suffered a $437 million loss in home values, and Cleveland had $628 million in home equity wiped away by foreclosures reported since 2009," the report said. While homes are losing value, costs to maintain foreclosures, especially vacant ones, are increasing. NPA estimates it will cost local governments in the three Ohio cities $5.5 billion between 2009 and 2012 to deal with foreclosed properties. The organization also believes the cost to taxpayers during this timeframe will be $4.8 million with $30 million in lost property tax revenue. Among the three cities in the study, Cleveland ranked the highest in terms of foreclosures per residential housing units — a total 19,860 properties, or 8.1% of all housing units since 2009. In Columbus, 5.4% of properties received a filing since 2007, which equates to almost 11,000. About 4% of all housing units in Cincinnati received a filing during or after 2009, which means about 9,700 homes, the report said. Looking at this data cumulatively, NPA found that nearly one in every 10 homes received a foreclosure notice since 2007, when the crisis hit. Of the homes that entered foreclosure during the 27-month study, 20,000 ended up as bank-owned properties. This figure represents 2.8% or one in every 36 homes. Many were absorbed by major banks, NPA said. "At minimum, over one-third (39%) of all homes lost to foreclose in the study area became the property of one of the nation's big banks," commented the report. "A minimum 9,200 Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati homes have been repossessed by big banks in foreclosure auction in the last 27 months." JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Citibank (C), and US Bank (USB) filed about 57% of all foreclosure notices in these cities. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.

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