Foreclosed Homes Mostly Located in 4 States

by Simon Lindsay on States

The 26 cities with the highest number of foreclosed homes in the first three months this year are located in only four states, namely California, Arizona, Florida and Nevada, according to a report prepared by California-based foreclosure tracking firm RealtyTrac.

The largest concentrations of foreclosed homes were in the cities of Las Vegas, Merced in California and the Fort Myers-Cape Coral metro area in Florida. The next cities on RealtyTrac’s list were Stockton, Riverside and Modesto in California. The two other California cities were Vallejo-Fairfield and Bakersfield.

The other cities in the top ten were Phoenix and Florida’s Port Saint Lucie.

Across the country, 803,489 units were hit with foreclosures in the first three months, representing a nine-percent increase from the last quarter of 2008 and a 24 percent increase from the first three months of 2008.

The states of California, Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Nevada accounted for almost 60 percent of the country’s foreclosures in the first quarter. The five states contributed 479,516 units to the total number of housing units hit with foreclosure filings.

California accounted for almost 29 percent of the country’s total foreclosure filings, with 230,915 housing units hit with foreclosure filings.

Nevada continued to have the highest foreclosure rate, with 1 unit in every 27 houses hit with a foreclosure filing. The number of bank owned foreclosures in Nevada decreased during the quarter, but defaults and notices of auction sales increased.

Meanwhile, among cities with less than 100,000 in population, the hardest hit cities are still located in the top-ranking states of California, Florida and Arizona. Among these cities are Queen Creek in Arizona, where one foreclosure was filed for every group of 25 residents, and Perris in California, where there are 70 foreclosure filings per capita.

Darren Blomquist, director of marketing communications at RealtyTrac, said that many foreclosed homes were in areas where new developments occurred in the last two to three years.

Most of the small towns which had the highest number of foreclosed homes were on the outer fringes of large metro areas in Arizona, California and Florida.

In these small towns, many foreclosed homes are priced from a range of $70,000 to $80,000, far below their price range of $250,000 to $275,000 when they were purchased in 2006.

Government housing analysts expect to see the impacts of President Obama’s Making Home Affordable program on these foreclosure figures in the next several months.