While industry research group RealtyTrac reported foreclosure activity dropped to a 74-month low in April, the figures could not disguise the fact that in some cities and some states, such as Nevada and Florida, the problem remains at epidemic levels.
The group reported on foreclosure activity in April:
RealtyTrac released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for April 2013, which shows foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - were reported on 144,790 U.S. properties in April, a decrease of 5 percent from the previous month and down 23 percent from April 2012.
Without a doubt, America continues well on its way to a housing recovery, based on home prices, inventories, foreclosures and the decline in mortgages that are underwater. As a matter of fact:
As of the beginning of May, A total of 11.3 million mortgages nationwide were seriously underwater, meaning combined amount of mortgages secured by the home was at least 25 percent more than the estimated value of the home. That represented 26 percent of all outstanding mortgages, but was down nearly 1.5 million from the 12.8 million seriously underwater mortgages in May 2012.
However, in Nevada, where real estate prices were ruined in the recession and fell more than 60% in some areas, the improvement is pitiful. The RealtyTrac data showed that "one in every 360 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month - more than twice the national average." Florida is another state that suffered an outright home price catastrophe and has not recovered. In the state "for the second month in a row the state posted the nations' second highest foreclosure rate: one in every 363 housing units with a foreclosure filing." In Ohio the numbers were not much better: "one in every 427 housing units with a foreclosure filing." To add to the Ohio misery, Akron, an aged industry city, had the highest foreclosure rate of any city in April:
One in every 211 housing units in Akron, Ohio, had a foreclosure filing in April, more than four times the national average and the highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more.
For Akron, it is hard to imagine a situation that is more bleak, given that much of the rest of the nation has started a housing recovery. As for the other battered cities:
Another Ohio city, Columbus, also ranked among the top 10 metro foreclosure rates in April. One in every 326 Columbus housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month, sixth highest among metro areas nationwide.
Five Florida cities posted foreclosure rates in April that ranked among the nation's top 10: Ocala at No. 2 (one in every 225 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Miami at No. 3 (one in every 269 housing units); Orlando at No. 4 (one in every 287); Jacksonville at No. 7 (one in every 345 housing units); and Tampa at No. 9 (one in every 384 housing units).
Other cities in the top 10 were Las Vegas at No. 5 (one in every 302 housing units); Myrtle Beach, S.C., at No. 8 (one in every 365 housing units); and Chicago at No. 10 (one in every 389 housing units).
Like unemployment, poverty and future economic opportunity, the real story is that the recovery in America continues to be extremely uneven. Many areas have not escaped the recession at all. Based on the RealtyTrac numbers, these same areas could be helplessly locked in bad economic situations for years.
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Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, Housing