Florida Still Leads U.S. in Foreclosures
Florida remains the nation's foreclosure hot spot, but the number of homeowners who have lost their properties is falling.
Florida led the U.S. with 48,494 completed foreclosures in the 12 months through November, data provider CoreLogic reported Tuesday.
While that was significantly higher than any other state, the foreclosure activity was down nearly 42 percent over the year.
The state posted a 1.4% foreclosure rate. That was the seventh-highest rate in the nation. But it was one-third lower than a year ago and closer to the 0.8% U.S. rate.
Florida accounted for about 12% of all the completed foreclosures nationally in the past year.
Nationwide, foreclosure activity is slowing as well. Lenders completed 404,882 foreclosures in the past year, some 107,228 fewer than the prior 12 months.
"The 7% appreciation in home prices through November 2016 has added an average of $12,500 in home-equity wealth per homeowner across the U.S. during the last year," said Anand Nallathambi, president/CEO at CoreLogic. "Sustained growth in home prices is clearly bolstering homeowners' spending power and balance sheets and, as a result, spurring a continued drop in defaults."
The number of completed U.S. foreclosures in November has plunged 78% from the peak of 118,339 in September 2010.
Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, about 6.5 million homes have been lost to foreclosure, CoreLogic said.
Meanwhile, the number of mortgages in serious delinquency — 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure or seized by lenders — is down to 3.6 percent of all homes in Florida, a one-third decline over the year.
Nationally, that delinquency rate declined by 22%, with 1 million mortgages, or 2.5%, in that category. That is the lowest level since August 2007.
"The decline in serious delinquency has been substantial, but the default rate remains high in select markets," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Serious delinquency rates were the highest in New Jersey and New York, at 5.6% and 5%, respectively. In contrast, the lowest delinquency rate occurred in Colorado at 0.9%, where a strong job market and home-price growth have enabled more homeowners to stay current."