Saturday, November 11, 2006

Report: Foreclosures up 17 percent nationwide

just when you thought everything was getting better in the USA after the elections,,,,,

Dow Jones / Associated Press

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NEW YORK — Foreclosure activity is up in most U.S. cities, real-estate data firm RealtyTrac reported today.

The Irvine, Calif.-based firm said that 318,355 properties in the United States entered some stage of foreclosure in the third quarter, a 17 percent increase over the prior quarter.

Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Denver-Aurora, Colo. metro areas saw the highest growth in foreclosure activities. One in every 80 Detroit households had a property enter some stage of foreclosure, while in Fort Lauderdale it was one in every 88 households and one in every 90 homes in Denver.

"The third quarter saw a marked increase in the number of properties entering some stage of foreclosure," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac. Factors pushing foreclosures up included slower home sales and home appreciation rates, he said, as well as "adjustable rate mortgages re-setting at higher monthly payments, putting homeowners into financial distress."

That said, while most of the country's 100 largest metro areas saw some increase in foreclosure activity, there were a "handful" that reported lower rates of properties entering the foreclosure process, RealtyTrac said.

Notably, Houston reported a 15 percent drop, and New York a 13 percent decline from the second quarter.

Chicago — after a 72 percent increase in the second quarter — saw another 4 percent increase in the number of properties entering foreclosure, while Los Angeles saw a 46 percent increase.

Two Florida metropolitan areas ranked in the top 10 metro areas with the highest rates of foreclosure, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, saw a 97 percent and an 87 percent increase, respectively, in the number of properties entering some stage of foreclosure.

Among the 10 metro areas with the highest rates of foreclosure, only Indianapolis saw a slight decline — a 2.5 percent drop — in the number of properties in the foreclosure process from the previous quarter.