Foreclosures fell in five of the top ten markets for distressed sales during the third quarter, but new foreclosure hot spots cropped up in unlikely Western markets, according to RealtyTrac's Q3 2009 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report.
Though ten cities in California, Florida and Nevada continued to account for more foreclosures than any other in the nation, the biggest year-over-year increases occurred in Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, and two Utah markets, Provo-Orem and Salt Lake City. Many other metro areas among those with the 50 highest foreclosure rates reported sharp increases in foreclosure activity.
The Chico metro area posted the biggest year-over-year increase in California, with foreclosure activity up 98 percent from the third quarter of 2008. The medium-sized metro about 100 miles north of Sacramento had a 12.8 percent unemployment rate in August, above the state and national averages.
A similar trend was seen in cities like Reno-Sparks, Nev., with an 80 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity, Prescott, Ariz., with a 77 percent increase, Jacksonville, Fla., with a 64 percent increase, Rockford, Ill., with a 64 percent increase, and Lansing-East Lansing, Mich., with a 41 percent increase.
"Rising unemployment and a new variety of mortgage resets continued to gradually shift the nation's foreclosure epicenters in the third quarter away from the hot spots of the last two years and toward some metro areas that had avoided the brunt of the first foreclosure wave," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "While toxic subprime mortgages drove much of that first wave of foreclosures, high unemployment and exotic Alt-A Option ARMs are spreading the foreclosure flood to more metro areas in 2009."
Las Vegas posted the nation's highest metro foreclosure rate, with 5.13 percent of its housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the quarter — nearly seven times the national average. A total of 40,408 Las Vegas properties received a foreclosure filing during the quarter, an increase of nearly 9 percent from the previous quarter and an increase of nearly 54 percent from the third quarter of 2008.
Despite a 13 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous quarter, Merced, Calif., posted the nation's second highest foreclosure rate, with 3.72 percent (one in 27) of its housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the third quarter. A total of 3,092 Merced properties received a foreclosure filing during the quarter, down 11 percent from the third quarter of 2008.
Foreclosure activity in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area in Florida also decreased from the previous quarter and from the third quarter of 2008, but the metro area still registered the nation's third highest metro foreclosure rate — with 3.67 percent (one in 27) of its housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the quarter. A total of 13,206 Cape Coral-Fort Myers properties received a foreclosure filing during the quarter, a decrease of 5 percent from the previous quarter and down 2 percent from the third quarter of 2008.
Other metro areas in the top 10 were the California cities of Stockton (3.53 percent), Modesto (3.39 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino (3.37 percent), Bakersfield (2.88 percent), and Vallejo-Fairfield (2.85 percent), along with the Reno-Sparks metro area in Nevada (2.67 percent) and the Florida metro areas of Port St. Lucie (2.63 percent) and Orlando-Kissimmee (2.57 percent).
From Real Estate economy Watch