Foreclosure Activity Down in 62% of U.S. Cities Year-Over-Year

Foreclosure activity in the third quarter decreased from a year ago in 131 out of the nation’s 212 cities (62 percent) with a  population of 200,000 or more, reported RealtyTrac.
In another sign that the housing crisis has at least turned the corner, third-quarter foreclosure activity decreased from the previous quarter in 134 of the metro areas tracked by RealtyTrac, or 63 percent.
In the nation’s 20 largest cities, foreclosure activity was down year-over-year in 12 metro areas, led by San Francisco (36 percent), Detroit (31 percent), Los Angeles (29 percent), Phoenix (27 percent) and San Diego (26 percent).
The biggest annual increases in foreclosures among the largest 20 areas were in New York (69 percent), Tampa (43 percent), Philadelphia (34 percent), Chicago (34 percent), and Seattle (20 percent).
“Two-thirds of the nation’s largest metros posted decreases in foreclosure activity in the third quarter, indicating that most of the nation’s housing markets are past the worst of the foreclosure problem” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “In fact foreclosure activity in September 2012 was below September 2007 levels in 58 percent of the metro markets we track.”
However, rebounding foreclosure activity in some markets poses a threat to home price stability, Blomquist said.
Upticks tend to be in markets where the process slowed down most significantly over the past two years, resulting in a buildup of foreclosures in limbo that lenders are finally working through this year.
California cities accounted for the seven highest metro foreclosure rates in the nation during the third quarter, although foreclosure activity decreased from a year ago in all seven metros.
Foreclosure activity increased from a year ago in all three remaining metros among the top 10: Rockford, Ill., at No. 8 (53 percent increase), Chicago at No. 9 (34 percent increase), and Miami at No. 10 (11 percent increase).
Including Miami, seven Florida cities ranked among the top 20 metro foreclosure rates in the third quarter. Six out of the seven Florida metros in the top 20 posted annual increases in foreclosure activity. Ocala was the only exception at No. 20 (7 percent annual decrease).
California cities claimed two additional spots in the top 20: Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura at No. 17 and Fresno at No. 18. The other two metros with foreclosure rates among the 20 highest nationwide were Atlanta at No. 15 and Phoenix at No. 16.

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