Foreclosure activity increased in more than half of the nation's major metropolitan areas last year, according to new data from Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.
During 2012, foreclosure activity rose in 120 (57%) of the nation's 212 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more. Year-over-year foreclosure activity fell in 12 out of the nation's 20 largest metro areas, led by Phoenix (down 37%) and San Francisco (down 30%) – but increased in the other eight major metro markets, most notably with an 80% spike in Tampa, Fla.
Florida cities accounted for eight of the 20 highest metro foreclosure rates, while
California cities accounted for the top four metro foreclosure rates.
‘Markets with increasing foreclosure activity in 2012 took the first step in finally purging delayed distress left over from the bursting housing bubble,’ says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. ‘Meanwhile, the underlying fundamentals in many of those markets are slowly improving, making it an opportune time to absorb additional foreclosure inventory this year – and that is particularly good news for buyers and investors hungry for more inventory to purchase in those markets.’
RealtyTrac also offered its selection for the best markets to buy foreclosures this year. The Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville metro area in Florida topped the list with a 34- months' supply of inventory, with foreclosure sales representing 24% of all sales. Five other Florida cities ranked among the Top 20 best places to buy foreclosures – Lakeland, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami – while five New York cities – Rochester, Albany, New York, Poughkeepsie and Syracuse – also ranked among the 20 best places to buy foreclosures.