Foreclosures are a big part of the housing market, with distressed properties accounting for 35 percent of all home resales last month, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
But for as common as foreclosures can be, they remain a localized concern. Data from foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac shows that more than half of last quarter's foreclosures came from just 19 metropolitan areas, with the Miami-Fort Lauderdale are accountable for the largest number of filings.
A "foreclosure filing" is defined as a default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession.
On a per-household basis last quarter, the Las Vegas area was hardest hit. 1 in every 25 households received some form of foreclosure notice.
The RealtyTrac report features other interesting figures, too:
- California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada account for the top 10, and19 of the top 20 metro areas for foreclosures
- Compared to Q3 2009, foreclosure activity dropped in 72 metro areas, including No. 2 Cape Coral/Fort Myers, FL
- Foreclosure activity dropped 1 percent from Q3 2009 in the nation's 20 most-populated cities
And, despite a 27 percent increase in foreclosures from the second quarter, Utica/Rome, NY posted the lowest foreclosure rate in the nation -- 1 for every 8,003 households. The next closest city, Charleston, WV, posted 1 for every 2,600 households, by comparison.
Foreclosures, like everything in real estate, are local. And buying them is "different" from buying a typical home resale. If you're planning to buy a foreclosed home, speak with a real estate agent with specific experience with homes in foreclosure. Professional advice is helpful.