May 15, 2014 – RealtyTrac released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for April 2014 today, and it found that Florida continues to lead the nation in foreclosures.

While the state’s foreclosure activity – a count of all homes in some phase of the foreclosure process – declined 9 percent year-to-year in April, the state still led the nation with a foreclosure rate nearly three times higher than the national average.

Nationwide, foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 115,830 properties in April, a 1 percent decrease from the previous month and 20 percent decline year-to-year. Overall, one in every 1,137 housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.

Despite the drop, however, banks repossessed more homes in April – a 4 percent increase month-to-month. Still, repossessions dropped 14 percent year-to-year.

Bank repossessions increased from the previous month in 26 states and were up from a year ago in 16 states, including New York (142 percent increase), Oregon (91 percent), New Jersey (58 percent), Illinois (55 percent), Indiana (52 percent), Maryland (45 percent), Connecticut (44 percent), California (27 percent) and Nevada (15 percent).

“The rise in bank repossessions in many states is a sign that those markets are working through the final remnants of foreclosures left over from the recent housing crisis,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Many of these bank-owned homes are bottom-of-the-barrel properties in terms of location or condition, but they will provide some much-wanted inventory of homes for sale in some markets in the coming months.

“Investors and other buyers willing to do more extensive rehab will likely be best-suited for these incoming REOs,” Blomquist adds.

Scheduled foreclosure are auctions down nationally in April – down 3 percent from the previous month and 21 percent from a year ago, the 41st consecutive month of declines.

Scheduled auctions increased from the previous month in 22 states and were up from a year ago in 17 states, including Oregon (up 229 percent), Utah (up 101 percent), Colorado (up 87 percent), New Jersey (up 73 percent), Alabama (up 25 percent), New York (up 25 percent), and Florida (up 8 percent).

A total of 54,613 U.S. properties entered the foreclosure process in April, down 2 percent from the previous month and 22 percent from a year ago — the 21st consecutive month of declines.

Florida cities have 11 of top 20 metro foreclosure rates

Eleven of the 20 highest foreclosure rates in metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more were in Florida, led by Orlando at No. 1, where one in every 289 housing units with a mortgage had a foreclosure filing in April, nearly four times the national average.

Other Florida cities with top 10 foreclosure rates were Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach at No. 2 (one in every 306 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at No. 3 (one in every 345 housing units); Jacksonville at No. 4 (one in every 368 housing units); Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater at No. 5 (one in every 388 housing units); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville at No. 6 (one in every 402 housing units); Lakeland at No. 9 (one in every 452 housing units); and Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice at No. 10 (one in every 460 housing units).

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

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