Continued Price Slide Drives More Tampa Foreclosure Homes

by Simon Lindsay on cities

The continued fall in house prices is driving more Tampa foreclosure homes. Despite a slight slowdown in the decline, house prices still fell year-over-year by 6 percent in February. In January, prices declined year-over-year by 8.5 percent.

Throughout the counties of Tampa Bay, the home sales price median declined to $120,000 in February, lower by 6 percent than the February 2009 median. It was also lower than the January 2010 median of $125,600, which marked even bigger rate of decreases from December and from January 2009.

Almost 50 percent of housing units in the Tampa-Saint Petersburg metropolitan area were much lower in value than their mortgage amounts as of the last quarter of 2009. The report from a research firm showed that 48.5 percent of all mortgaged homes in Greater Tampa or 332,968 houses were underwater and that another 28,182 units were nearing the underwater situation.

The statewide underwater situation is also bad, as 48 percent of all mortgaged houses across Florida were underwater. During the quarter, Florida was third in percentage of underwater mortgages, behind only Nevada and Arizona. It was second in number of underwater loans, behind only California.

It is no wonder then that the pace of Florida foreclosures resurged in February, mirroring the continued rise in Tampa foreclosure homes. Foreclosure postings across Florida surged by 14.8 percent from the previous month and by 16.5 percent over a 12-month period.

Of the more than 54,000 houses that were notified of delinquency and foreclosure sale, almost 7,000 units were already counted as bank home foreclosures for sale. Another 15,815 units were notified of foreclosure sale and another 31,225 units were given lis pendens notices.

In January, Florida was fourth in intensity of foreclosure activity, behind California. In February, the foreclosure situation got worse, as Florida went up to third, behind constant top placers Nevada and Arizona. California went down to fourth place.

In the foreclosure report for the whole year of 2009, Florida was also third in foreclosure rate, with nearly 517,000 of its households getting hit with default, foreclosure sale and repossession notices.

In 2009, almost 62,800 homeowners in the Tampa-Saint Petersburg area were notified they were seriously delinquent, with a huge percentage notified that their properties were already in listings of Tampa foreclosure homes. The number marked an increase of 17 percent from 2008. In February this year, foreclosure activity in Greater Tampa again surged by 15 percent.