Tampa Foreclosures Continue to Drag Down Home Prices

by Simon Lindsay on cities

Tampa foreclosures continue to drag down home prices in the area. In the first quarter, foreclosures in Greater Tampa, which covers Clearwater and Saint Petersburg, increased by 17 percent compared to foreclosures in the first quarter last year and shot up by 22 percent compared to the final quarter of 2009.

A total of 19,284 foreclosure filings were posted in the first quarter in the Tampa Bay area.

As foreclosure activity slowed down in many foreclosure-battered housing markets in the U.S., foreclosures in Florida markets stepped up. Of the 15 Florida housing markets that have been posting the highest foreclosure rates among all the largest metro areas in the nation over the past months, all posted increases in foreclosure actions in the first quarter, except the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area, the Port Saint Lucie area and the Naples-Marco Island area.

Of the top ten metro areas in the foreclosure rate charts, eight posted drops in foreclosure activity, with one Florida metro area – the Orlando-Kissimee area – posting an increase of more than 17 percent. With these increases in paces in foreclosure and repossession in metro areas in Florida, record numbers of foreclosed homes for sale are still putting a downward pressure on home prices across the state.

After home prices in the Tampa Bay area shot up by 79 percent during the heydays of the housing market, the weight and pressure of Tampa foreclosures pushed record price levels down by among the biggest drop rates in the nation.

Over the past 12 months, based on data from local realtors, home prices have fallen by more than 6 percent. For instance, a home purchased during the boom for $340,000 is now listed on the market for only $160,000.

According to the most recent Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller housing index report, house prices in the cities of Tampa, Charlotte, New York, Las Vegas, Seattle and Portland, posted new records in price declines in February.

For the city of Tampa, its S&P housing price index dropped to 136.54 in February, reflecting the drop in home prices in the metro area by 1.2 percent from January and by 0.5 percent from December 2009. The total price decline from the index level in February 2009 was 6 percent.

Of the 8,643 properties in bank owned home listings in February and the nearly 7,000 bank owned houses in March in Florida, a big percentage of these were Tampa foreclosures, as Greater Tampa was tenth in foreclosure rate in the state of Florida in the first quarter.

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