The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metropolitan area saw a 60.1 percent drop in the number of properties with foreclosure filings from the same period in 2010, according to RealtyTrac data released today. A total of 37,627 properties in South Florida had foreclosure filings in the first six months of this year. South Florida's foreclosure rate fell from the 10th-highest in the country to the 30th, with the dramatic fall coming in large part from the foreclosure document scandal that occurred in the fall, the firm said. "We're seeing this big drop-off in the Florida numbers, more so than probably any other state," said Daren Blomquist, spokesperson for RealtyTrac. "Our interpretation of that is that the market is not all of a sudden in the throws of a recovery, so much as we're just seeing the foreclosure process delayed quite a bit by the fallout from the robo-signing problems."In the first half of 2010, nine of the top 20 foreclosure rates were seen in cities in Florida -- that number has dropped to just one area, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, where there were 8,699 properties with filings, or one of every 42 housing units. One trend that began to emerge in June was a slight uptick in the foreclosure filing numbers, Blomquist said, meaning the glut of foreclosures could be starting to move through the process again. "In Florida overall, there was a 24 percent month-over-month increase in foreclosure activity from May to June, and that's another sign that the numbers are kind of starting to come back," he said. Miami-Dade County, in particular, had an 11 percent increase in foreclosure filings in June compared to the previous month. Palm Beach County saw a 26 percent increase, and Broward County's foreclosure filings rose 6 percent. "The way I picture it is like a dam holding back some of these delayed foreclosures," he said. "We're starting to see evidence, when you drill down to local [Florida] areas, that some of those dammed-up foreclosures are starting to spill over, and we expect that to continue in the second half of 2011."One impediment to an increased filing flow is the unusually long period of time foreclosures take to process in Florida, Blomquist said. In the second quarter of 2011, for example, properties that were foreclosed upon in Florida took an average of 676 days to move through the system. In the second quarter of 2007, that number was just 195 days. Nationwide, there were 1.17 million properties with foreclosure filings, a 29.2 percent drop from the first half of 2010.
July 26, 2011 02:15PM
Home prices nationwide began to stabilize in the second half of 2011, a positive indicator for consumer spending, according to a report by CoreLogic released today. In May 2011, excluding distressed sales, the Housing Price Index only dropped 0.4 percent, compared to a decline of 7.4 percent for the Housing Price Index for all transactions. Another positive sign, the report says, is that the Housing Price Index, which even including distressed sales, increased between March and April, for the first time in more than six months, and continued up between April and May. The positive trend echoed the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, also released today, which indicated that U.S. home prices increased month over month in May for the first time in six months.When median prices are disaggregated by type of sale for the ?rst complete month of the spring homebuying season, CoreLogic reports that despite the impact of the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit, state homebuyer tax credits and increases in Federal Housing Administration premiums, non-distressed median existing and new prices are back to 2009 levels. But median prices for real estate owned property and short sale transactions continued to decline and have fallen 10 percent since 2009, and the incidence and price discount of distressed sales is high, signifying a major impediment to price stabilization, according to the report. Miami leads the way with a 62 percent REO price discount, followed by Chicago (60 percent) and Detroit (60 percent). West Palm Beach ranked fourth with 58 percent. Still, the current residential shadow inventory, which is the estimated pending supply of distressed properties, declined to 1.7 million units in April 2011, down from 1.9 million homes a year ago and down nearly 20 percent from its peak, according to the report. Based on that data, CoreLogic projects that the level of distressed sales should begin to decline in late 2011 and into 2012. The report also states that nearly 11 million, or 23 percent, of all residential properties with mortgages were in negative equity at the end of the ?rst quarter of 2011. The negative equity share has been fairly stable over the last year. Going forward, the report states, negative equity will primarily decline through a combination of foreclosures, amortization and, to a lesser extent, price increases, but it could take eight to 10 years for national prices to reach the previous level . -- Miranda Neubauer