Foreclosure filings in February increased nearly 6% from January and nearly 30% from February 2008, RealtyTrac reports in its latest market report. The report also shows one in every 440 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in February.
The total number of filings, reported on 290,631 U.S. properties during the month, is the third-highest monthly total in the RealtyTrac report's history.
‘The increase in foreclosure activity from January to February is somewhat surprising, given that many of the foreclosure prevention efforts and moratoria in place in January were extended through most of February as well,’ says James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac. ‘There were some notable exceptions to this: A 45-day voluntary moratorium in Florida expired at the end of January, and foreclosure activity there was up 14 percent from the previous month. And many New York foreclosure proceedings delayed by a new law for an extra 90 days appear to have hit the system in February, when the state's foreclosure activity increased 23 percent from the previous month."
Nevada, Arizona and California posted the top state foreclosure rates. Foreclosure filings were reported on 15,783 Nevada properties during the month – a 9% increase from the previous month and a 156% increase from February 2008. California, Florida and Arizona, meanwhile, posted the highest foreclosure totals.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 80,775 California properties in February – the most of any state and a 5% increase from the previous month. The state's foreclosure activity increased 51% from February 2008, with auction sale notices increasing nearly 179% – the most of any category on a year-over-year basis.
Sunbelt cities continued to post the top metro foreclosure rates. One in every 60 Las Vegas housing units received a foreclosure filing in February, giving the city the nation's highest foreclosure rate among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000. The city's foreclosure rate was more than seven times higher than the national average.
The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area documented the second-highest foreclosure rate in February, with one in every 65 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.