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Florida leads nation in foreclosures

Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 6:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 6:38 p.m.

Florida still leads the nation in completed foreclosures and ranks third for the percentage of distressed properties.

Lenders closed on 101,938 foreclosures in Florida during the 12-month period ended in June, accounting for nearly one-fifth of all the foreclosures nationwide, data provider CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

The state’s foreclosure inventory — the percentage of mortgaged homes in some stage of the process — stood at 2.7 percent at mid-year, behind only New Jersey and New York.

While Florida’s foreclosure inventory is down from 5.0 percent one year ago. it remains more than double the U.S. rate of 1.2 percent.

The number of foreclosures in Florida also is easing. Lenders seized nearly 23,000 fewer homes than in the previous 12-month period.

Nationwide, completed foreclosures are down by 15 percent and the foreclosure inventory has shrunk by 29 percent, CoreLogic said.

“The foreclosure rate for the U.S. has dropped to its lowest level since 2007, supported by a continuing decline in loans made before 2009, gains in employment, and higher housing prices,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The decline has not been uniform geographically, as the foreclosure rate varies across metropolitan areas.”

The foreclosure rate in the Sarasota-Manatee was 2.22 percent in May, the most recent month measured. That was down from a high of 12.23 percent in June 2011 and less than half the 4.53 percent recorded one year earlier, according to CoreLogic.

Foreclosure rates throughout the region have eased for several years as real estate values have recovered and more homeowners have been able to hold on to their properties.

Meanwhile, 6.3 percent of mortgages in Florida are considered seriously delinquent — at least 90 days past due — which was the third-highest rate in the nation.

But that was down from 9.4 percent over the year.

The U.S. average is 3.9 percent, off from 4.4 percent last year.

“Serious delinquency is at the lowest level in seven-and-a-half years, reflecting the benefits of slow but steady improvements in the economy and rising home prices,” said Anand Nallathambi, president/CEO of CoreLogic.