Foreclosures fell in nearly two-thirds of the nation’s largest metro areas during the third quarter.
With 62% of the nation’s 212 largest markets seeing foreclosure activity shrink during the latest quarter, the ongoing decline is yet another sign that the housing market is starting to stabilize.
During September, foreclosure activity in 58% of the major metro markets had even dropped below September 2007 levels.
The numbers indicate that most of the nation’s housing markets are past the worst of the foreclosure problem.
Major cities like San Francisco, Detroit, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Diego saw foreclosures fall by double-digit percentages of 26% or more.
Stockton, Calif., which saw a 21% decline in foreclosures, still managed to claim the nation’s highest foreclosure rate.
Other California cities in the top 10, Riverside, Vallejo, Modesto, Merced, Bakersfield and Sacramento, all posted year-over-year declines of between 22% and34%.
Yet, there are still some trouble spots, particularly in Florida.
In Miami, which had the 10th highest foreclosure rate, filings rose 11%. In Jacksonville, foreclosures were up 32%, Palm Bay saw a 64% increase, Tampa was up 43% and Orlando notched a 15% jump.
Of the metro areas with the 20 highest foreclosure rates, all are still in California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida, with two notable exceptions. Chicago saw a 34% jump from a year-ago, and had the ninth highest foreclosure rate. Atlanta had the 15th highest rate. The good news there: Foreclosures fell 20% year-over-year.
In Las Vegas, filings fell dramatically — 71% –because of state legislation passed last year that requires lenders to file affidavits vouching for their paperwork and their foreclosure action against a borrower, Blomquist said.
Many lenders now bypass the foreclosure process entirely in Nevada, working with troubled borrowers to arrange short sales even before filing notices of default.