RealtyTracÂ has released its 2010 foreclosure tallies for the nationâ€™s largest metropolitan areas. The tracking firm found that foreclosure activity increased from 2009 in 149 of the 206 metros with a population of 200,000 or more, or 72 percent.Â
Interestingly enough, the metro areas with the 10 highest foreclosure rates all posted decreasing activity from 2009, but RealtyTrac says foreclosures became more widespread last year as high unemployment drove activity up in parts of the country that had been relatively insulated from the initial foreclosure tsunami.
â€œForeclosure floodwaters receded somewhat in 2010 in the nationâ€™s hardest-hit housing markets,â€ said James J. Saccacio, RealtyTracâ€™sÂ CEO. â€œEven so, foreclosure levels remained five to 10 times higher than historic norms in most of those hard-hit markets, where deep fault lines of risk remain and could potentially trigger more waves of foreclosure activity in 2011 and beyond.â€
Among the 20 largest metros, RealtyTrac says Houston (+26%), Seattle (+23%), and Atlanta (+21%) saw the biggest increases in foreclosure filings last year. However, cities in California, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona once again accounted for the nationâ€™s 10 highest foreclosure rates, despite the fact that their activity retreated.
The Las Vegas metro claimed the No. 1 spot, with one in every nine homes there receiving a foreclosure filing last
year â€“ nearly five times the national average. Thatâ€™s despite the fact that filings were down 7 percent from 2009. A total of 88,198 Las Vegas-area properties received a foreclosure filing in 2010.
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida documented the nationâ€™s second highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 12 housing units (8.40%) receiving a foreclosure filing in 2010. A total of 30,660 properties in the metro area received a filing in 2010, down 28 percent from 2009.
Modesto, California also reported a decrease in foreclosure activity from 2009 of more than 28 percent, but the metro area still posted the nationâ€™s third highest foreclosure rate with one in every 14 homes (7.34%) in some stage of foreclosure in 2010.
Other metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 10 were Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona (7.27%); Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Florida (7.08%); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California (6.95%); Stockton, California (6.94%); Merced, California (6.93%); Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida (6.86%); and Vallejo-Fairfield, California (6.25%).
The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area reported 55,372 bank repossessions, or REOs, in 2010, the most of any metro area and up 17 percent from 2009.
The Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metro area had 45,555 REOs in 2010, the second most of any metro area and an increase of nearly 20 percent from 2009.
And the Detroit-Warren-Livonia metro reported 43,541 REOs in 2010, the third most of any metro area and up 19 percent from 2009.
The Washington, D.C., metro area posted the biggest decrease in overall foreclosure activity from 2009 among the nationâ€™s 20 largest metro areas, down 22 percent, followed by three Southern California metro areas: Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, with a 20 percent decrease; San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, with a 17 percent decrease; and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, with a 16 percent decrease.