Still Plenty of Foreclosures in Cleveland for Investors

by on Foreclosures

There are still plenty of foreclosures in Cleveland for investors and owner-occupant buyers as more properties entered foreclosure in the first quarter of this year, based on figures from the Ohio Supreme Court and a foreclosure research firm.

In Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located, foreclosure postings increased by nearly 10 percent to a total of 5,072 filings in the first quarter, although the number marked a 3-percent drop from foreclosures one year earlier.

Of these homes that entered the foreclosure process, a total of 1,897 homes were already included in listings of home foreclosures during the quarter. These homes accounted for 37.4 percent of total postings in the county.

For people planning to invest in pre foreclosures in Cuyahoga, they have 3,175 more homes to look at as 2,263 homes received lis pendens notices and 912 received notices for foreclosure sales during the quarter. With the help of certified distressed realtors, they can work out deals with homeowners and lenders so they can buy properties at profitable prices.

Two of the advantages of short sales are the good conditions of the properties and less competition from other buyers. Typically, for low-priced foreclosures, the competition among buyers is fierce.

Despite improvements in the employment situation in the area, the pace of foreclosures in Cleveland still surged in the first quarter. Analysts explain this as due to the lag factor – that the effects of any improvement in employment would be experienced much later, especially if the improvement is not sharp.

The unemployment rate in the Cleveland-Elyria area dropped by 0.8 percentage point from February to 9.8 percent in March. The jobless rate however still marked an increase from March 2009. It was also lower than the statewide rate of 11 percent, but higher than the nationwide rate of 9.7 percent.

There were 8,732 jobs that were added by Cleveland employers in March to the February total, pushing up the total of jobs in the metro area to 960,065. However, compared to March 2009, there were 17,822 jobs eliminated. Since December 2007, the Cleveland area has lost a total of 64,731 jobs.

Job losses also drove record numbers of Ohio foreclosures over the past several months. In the first quarter, the number of foreclosure cases filed in Ohio common pleas courts increased by 9 percent over the year to 24,711 – another record for Ohio, as the first-quarter total in 2009 was also a record number at that time.

The total of 89,053 foreclosure cases filed in 2009 was also a record, as it marked the fourteenth consecutive annual increase for Ohio.

In another foreclosure report released by a research firm, the numbers were even higher. This report said that 33,221 homes became distressed in the first quarter, including 10,637 homes already in the foreclosure list of banks. The total marked a jump of 12 percent from the prior quarter and an increase of 5 percent from one year earlier.

In the report released by the Ohio Supreme Court, foreclosures in Cleveland and other parts of Cuyahoga County reached a total of 3,722 foreclosure cases in the first quarter.