Buy Foreclosure Homes in Ocala Where Prices Had Biggest Fall

by Donald Hanz on cities

Owner occupant buyers and investors can buy foreclosure homes in Ocala, Florida where the median home sales price plunged by 23.4 percent in the final quarter of 2009, the biggest price drop in the nation during the quarter.

Despite a three-percent decline in foreclosure postings in January this year in Marion County, where Ocala is located, the number of filings was still substantial enough to push the price median to $93,200 and to increase the number of relatively cheap houses in the area.

According to data from the National Association of Realtors, the median home sales price increased in only 67 of the 151 metro areas monitored in the final quarter, representing only 44 percent of all large metro areas tracked. In the July-September quarter, home prices increased in only one-fifth of the 151 metro areas tracked.

The median home sales price nationwide fell to $172,000, marking a 4-percent drop from the median in the final quarter of 2008.

Despite the ten-percent decline in foreclosure activity nationwide in January, opportunities to buy foreclosure homes at lower prices will not disappear, according to housing analysts. They said that several cities would flood their housing markets with shadow inventory of foreclosures in the coming months.

In Marion County, 784 foreclosures were posted in January, a drop from the 807 filings in the previous month of December. One out every 197 households in the county has received a foreclosure filing, pushing the overall number of pre-foreclosure homes to 6,226 units.

While Ocala posted the biggest home price drop in the fourth quarter, Las Vegas posted the highest foreclosure pace in January, with one out of every 82 households in the metro area receiving a foreclosure posting. Phoenix of Arizona and Modesto and Stockton of California were the next cities on the chart. La Vegas also posted the second biggest home price decline in the final quarter last year.

In December, the unemployment rate in Ocala hit 14 percent, an increase from the 13.9 percent rate in November and from the December 2008 rate of 10.1 percent, based on a report from the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation.

Among the 23 metro areas in Florida, Ocala posted the third highest jobless rate, following Palm Coast which posted 16.9 percent and the Vero Beach area which posted 14.1 percent.

Just like in other areas of Florida, investors can buy foreclosure homes at bargain prices and then gain from them when the employment situation improves.