Florida continues to dominate US foreclosure listings, topping the rankings for both activity and number of properties. However, improved conditions in the Florida property market are starting to make their mark on foreclosures where properties are no longer well below market price or as plentiful.
The latest foreclosure report from RealtyTrac for April continues to place Florida as the top of ranking for foreclosure activity nationally. However, the April 2015 US Foreclosure Market Report makes some interesting findings regarding price of foreclosures and reveals that they are no longer much cheaper than non-foreclosure homes.
Foreclosure prices nearing market value
According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure properties in Florida come in at between 79 and 91 per cent of market value depending on the area. At the bottom end, those in Pensacola cost an average of 21 per cent less than the actual market price while foreclosures in Cape Coral-Fort Myers are just 9 per cent short of market values.
Foreclosures properties in Orlando and Sarasota cost around 90 per cent of market value with those in Tampa and Jacksonville slightly cheaper although their foreclosure values of 86 and 83 per cent respectively no longer represent a bargain.
Foreclosures in Florida still high but falling
In April, Florida was again the US state with the highest number of foreclosure listings and showed a year-on-year rise of 42 per cent. However, although Florida had the most foreclosures on its books, the Sunshine State ranked well behind others in terms of annual increases – for example, Michigan registered 198 per cent and Ohio 63 per cent.
Although Florida continues to have a high number of foreclosure properties – 1 in every 425 properties in Florida has a foreclosure filing – the number joining the list continues to fall. Year-on-year statistics to April show that foreclosure starts in Florida fell by 28.35 per cent. This leads experts to believe that foreclosure activity in Florida is coming to an end of its current cycle.
The national foreclosure rate stands at 1 foreclosure per 1,049 properties with foreclosure filings experiencing an annual rise of 9 per cent last April. The average price for a foreclosure property in the US was 87 per cent of market value. Commenting on the nationwide figures, RealtyTrac Vice-President Daren Blomquist said that foreclosure starts were below pre-crisis levels indicating “that the overall increase in foreclosure activity in April is a continuation of the clean-up phase of the last housing crisis”.