Looking back, the housing industry is totally Scrooged

Looking back, the housing industry is totally Scrooged

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Foreclosure flood spreads beyond hardest hit markets: RealtyTrac

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Metro areas with the 10 highest foreclosure rates saw filings decrease in 2010, but for nearly everywhere else activity was on the rise, according to RealtyTrac, which tracked activity in 206 cities across the country. For the year, more than 2.8 million properties in the U.S. received at least one foreclosure filing from notice of default to repossession. While the hardest hit areas – 19 of the top 20 in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona – saw filings drop, 149 of the metro areas studied saw activity actually increase from 2009. RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio said widespread unemployment has pushed foreclosures in areas previously insulated from the "initial foreclosure tsunami." "Foreclosure floodwaters receded somewhat in 2010 in the nation’s hardest-hit housing markets," Saccacio said. "Even so, foreclosure levels remained five to 10 times higher than historic norms in most of those hard-hit markets, where deep faultlines of risk remain and could potentially trigger more waves of foreclosure activity in 2011 and beyond." Las Vegas continues to hold the nation's highest foreclosure rate. In 2010, one in every nine housing units received a foreclosure filing, nearly five times the national average. More than 88,000 Las Vegas properties received a filing last year, down 7% from 2009 but up 31% from 2008. The second highest rate was in Cape Coral-Fort Meyers, Fla. There one in every 12 homes received a filing. Modesto, Calif. was third, where one in every 14 homes received a filing. The Washington, D.C. metro area registered the largest decrease in foreclosure activity from the year before. Filings there dropped 22%. The most repossessions, or REO, occurred in Phoenix, Ariz. There were more than 55,000 REO there in 2010, up 17% from 2009. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior

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