In most of America’s cities new foreclosures declined through the third quarter but foreclosure activity soared more than 20 percent over last year in New York, Tampa, Philadelphia and Chicago.
RealtyTrac today reported that third quarter foreclosure activity decreased from a year ago in 62 percent of the nation’s metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more. Among big cities, foreclosure activity decreased annually in 12 out of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, led by San Francisco (36 percent), Detroit (31 percent), Los Angeles (29 percent), Phoenix (27 percent) and San Diego (26 percent).
However, the biggest annual increases in foreclosure activity among the nation’s 20 largest metro areas were in New York (69 percent), Tampa (43 percent), Philadelphia (34 percent), Chicago (34 percent), and Seattle (20 percent). In the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island market, foreclosure activity rose 28 percent from the second quarter and 69.2 percent from the third quarter of 2011, yet the market still ranked 158th in the nation with only one foreclosure for every 582 housing units. Chicago, on the other hand, saw foreclosures rise 2.33 percent from the second quarter and 33.51 percent from the third quarter of 2011 to move the Windy City into ninth place in the nation with one foreclosure for every 98 housing units.
“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.
“Still, rebounding foreclosure activity in some markets remains a threat to home price stability and growth in those markets,” Blomquist continued. “The rebounding foreclosure activity tends to be in markets where the foreclosure process slowed down most dramatically in the last two years, resulting in a buildup of foreclosures in limbo that lenders are finally working through this year.
Despite a 21 percent annual decline in foreclosure activity, Stockton, Calif., documented the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate in the third quarter — one in every 67 housing units with a foreclosure filing, more than three times the national average.
California cities — including Stockton— 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.
The Riverside-San Bernardino metro area in Southern California registered the highest foreclosure rate among the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan areas in the third quarter: one in every 73 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the quarter — more than three times the national average.
Five other metro areas among the nation’s 20 largest registered foreclosure rates more than twice the national average: Chicago (one in 98 housing units), Miami (one in 100 housing units), Tampa (one in 106 housing units), Atlanta (one in 112 housing units), and Phoenix (one in 113 housing units).