Foreclosure Home Housing & Foreclosure Reports Midyear 2012 Metro Foreclosure Market Report

59 Percent of U.S. Metros Post Higher Foreclosure Activity in First Half of 2012

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Tampa, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York Post Biggest Increases Among Large Metros
  Second Quarter Foreclosure Starts Increase in 62 Percent of Metros

IRVINE, Calif. – July 26, 2012 – RealtyTrac® (, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its Midyear 2012 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report, which shows that foreclosure activity in the first half of 2012 increased from the previous six months in 125 of the nation’s 212 metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more. Despite the increases from the second half of 2011, 129 of the metro areas still posted year-over-year decreases in foreclosure activity.

California accounted for seven of the 10 highest metro foreclosure rates and 10 of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates during the first half of the year. Florida accounted for four of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates, and Illinois accounted for two of the top 20. Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado each had one city in the top 20.

“Increasing foreclosure starts in many local markets helped push total foreclosure activity higher in the first half of this year compared to the second half of 2011,” said Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. “Those foreclosure starts are welcome news for prospective buyers and real estate brokers in many local markets where a shortage of aggressively priced inventory has been holding up sales activity. Markets with increasing foreclosure starts will likely see more distressed inventory for sale in the form of short sales and bank-owned properties in the second half of the year.” 

Top 10 metro foreclosure rates
Stockton, Calif., posted the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate, 2.66 percent of housing units (one in every 38) with a foreclosure filing in the first half of 2012 — more than three times the national average. There were a total of 6,218 Stockton properties with a foreclosure filing during the six-month period, a decrease of 13 percent from the previous six months and a decrease of 16 percent from the first half of 2011.

Four other California cities ranked in the top 5 metro foreclosure rates despite decreasing foreclosure activity: Modesto at No. 2 (2.61 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario at No. 3 (2.59 percent), Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 4 (2.56 percent), and Merced at No. 5 (2.15 percent).

Atlanta was the only metro area with a top 10 foreclosure rate to register increasing foreclosure activity in the first half of 2012. A total of 46,267 Atlanta area properties had a foreclosure filing during the six-month period, 2.14 percent of all housing units (one in every 47) — the nation’s sixth highest metro foreclosure rate. Atlanta area foreclosure activity increased 3 percent from the previous six months and was up 5 percent from the first half of 2011.

Other metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 10 were Phoenix at No. 7 (2.08 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing), Bakersfield, Calif., at No. 8 (2.07 percent), Las Vegas at No. 9 (2.04 percent), and Visalia-Porterville, Calif., at No. 10 (2.03 percent).

Trends in 20 largest metro areas
Half of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas in terms of population documented increasing foreclosure activity from the previous six months, led by the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area in Florida with a 47 percent increase.

Foreclosure activity during the first half of the year increased more than 20 percent from second half of 2011 in Philadelphia (30 percent), Chicago (28 percent), New York (26 percent), and Baltimore (21 percent).

Seattle foreclosure activity in the first half of 2012 decreased 24 percent from the previous six months, the biggest drop among the nation’s 20 largest metro areas. Other large metro areas where first half foreclosure activity decreased more than 10 percent from the second half of 2011 were San Francisco (21 percent), Detroit (17 percent), Los Angeles (13 percent), Boston (12 percent), and San Diego (11 percent).

Despite a 9 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous six months, the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area in Southern California registered the highest foreclosure rate among the 20 largest metro areas, followed by Atlanta, Phoenix, Miami and Chicago.

Best metros for foreclosure buying and investing in second half of 2012
Second quarter foreclosure starts increased from the previous quarter in more than 60 percent of all metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more, and those markets represent areas where more foreclosure inventory will likely be available for sale in the second half of the year.

Among the 132 metro areas with increasing foreclosure starts in the second quarter, RealtyTrac ranked the 10 best markets for foreclosure buying and investing in the second half of 2012. The top 10 list is comprised of metros where the average foreclosure sales price is increasing on an annual basis, average foreclosure sale discounts are still 15 percent or higher, and the unsold inventory of bank-owned homes represents a supply of 20 months or fewer.

Report methodology
The RealtyTrac Midyear Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the first six months of the year. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the six-month period may have been recorded in previous months. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: DefaultNotice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). For the midyear report, if more than one foreclosure document is received for a property during the six-month period, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The midyear report checks if the same type of document was filed against a property previous to the six-month period. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state where the property is located, the report does not count the property in the current midyear.

Report License                                                                               
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

Order Customized Reports
Detailed and historical foreclosure data used to create the above report may be purchased  through the RealtyTrac Data Licensing Department at 949.502.8300 Ext. 158. Aggregate data is available at the state, metro, county and zip code levels dating back to 2005, and address-level foreclosure records are also available historically.

About RealtyTrac Inc.                                                        
RealtyTrac ( is the leading online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 1.5 million default, auction and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, along with detailed property, loan and home sales data. Hosting millions of unique monthly visitors, RealtyTrac provides innovative technology solutions and practical education resources to facilitate buying, selling and investing in real estate. RealtyTrac’s foreclosure data has also been used by the Federal Reserve, FBI, U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and Banking Committee, U.S. Treasury Department, and numerous state housing and banking departments, private companies and academic institutions to help evaluate foreclosure trends and address policy issues related to foreclosures.


Media Contacts:

Jennifer von Pohlmann
949.502.8300, ext. 139  

Ginny Walker
949.502.8300, ext. 268

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