By John Hielscher.
But the number of foreclosure properties continues to shrink
Florida can’t shake its spot at the top of the nation for foreclosures, but the numbers are shrinking.
Mortgage lenders closed on 71,644 foreclosures in Florida during the 12-month period ended in February, data provider CoreLogic reported Tuesday.
The state accounted for about 15 percent of all the foreclosures nationwide in the past year.
But the total was down by more than 41,000 foreclosures, or 37 percent, from 2015.
Florida’s foreclosure inventory — the share of mortgaged homes in some stage of the process — stood at 2.2 percent in February, the fourth-highest level in the nation.
While the state’s foreclosure inventory is down from 3.4 percent over the year, it remains double the U.S. rate of 1.1 percent.
“Home price gains have clearly been a driving force in building positive equity for homeowners,” said Anand Nallathambi, president/CEO of CoreLogic. “Longer term, we anticipate a better balance of supply with demand in many markets which will help sustain healthy and affordable home values into the future.”
Nationwide, completed foreclosures have dropped by 10 percent and the foreclosure inventory has fallen by 24 percent.
The foreclosure rate in the Sarasota-Manatee region was 1.77 percent in January, the most recent month measured. That is down from the peak of 12.23 percent in June 2011 and down from 3.68 percent posted in 2014, CoreLogic said.
Statewide, 5.1 percent of all mortgages are considered seriously delinquent — at least 90 days past due — the third-highest level in the nation.
But that is down by one-third over the past year.
The U.S. average is 3.2 percent, the lowest level since November 2007.
“Job creation averaged 207,000 during the first two months of 2016, and incomes grew over the past year,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “More income and improved household finances have helped bring serious delinquency rates down in nearly every state.”