While Florida is still a top five state when it comes to foreclosure rates, its dark mid-2000 past is a distant rear-view image, RealtyTrac’s November market report suggests.
November saw a 15 percent monthly drop in foreclosure starts nationwide. the lowest total starts since May 2006. That falling monthly trend has been the case for close to half of 2015 now, measured on a year-over-year basis, and scheduled auctions are at their lowest levels since 2005.
As banks work through their backlog of old foreclosures, bank repossessions have shot up in the short term, said RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist. Repossessions were up 60 percent nationally from a year ago November.
“This also means the share of active foreclosures tied to bubble-era loans is shrinking, with 59 percent of all loans in foreclosure originated between 2004 and 2008,” Blomquist said. “While that is still a disproportionate share of active foreclosures, it continues to decrease from 61 percent earlier this year and 75 percent two years ago,”
Florida completed 6.435 foreclosures in November, the highest of the states, and more than twice as many as the second-highest completer, Texas. Its top five foreclosure state ranking has continued through 2015 -- but at the same time, its starts and other activity indicators continue to decrease. Three Florida cities are top 10 in metro foreclosure rates: Tampa (no. 6) Jacksonville (no. 9) and Daytona Beach (no. 10).
Land Solutions Market Research Director Doug Meschko said foreclosures in Southwest Floridahave become "a nonissue."
“Foreclosures were the news of the past four or five years, but they’re no longer the news of the day,” Meschko said. “I’ve been tracking them since 2009, but stopped doing it two or three quarters ago.”
Locally, foreclosures are “only a little above 2004,” Meschko said, and foreclosed properties are being absorbed quickly back into the market, selling at higher prices than in the bad old days.
For buyers, it means “the party’s over,” said Meschko. “We’re in a retail market favoring the seller. Appraisals are up because foreclosures aren’t in the mix. It’s a healthy market again.”