FL Foreclosure

Florida Defies Housing Rebound as Foreclosures Soar

Florida’s foreclosure crisis just won’t end. More than six years after subprime lending and overbuilding led to the worst U.S. real estate slump, the state had the biggest increase in home seizures last year, and the highest foreclosure rate, RealtyTrac Inc. said.

One in every 32 Florida households received a notice of default, auction or repossession in 2012, more than double the average U.S. rate of one in 72, the Irvine, California-based data seller said today in a report. Home repossessions increased by 16,276 during the year to 84,456, the biggest gain nationwide. Adding to the state’s woes is a backlog of foreclosures caused by a required court review of each case.

“Florida has had the worst problem the whole time, the combination of speculation and a run-up in prices and a judicial timeline that makes foreclosure sales take much longer,”Herb Blecher, senior vice president at mortgage-data provider Lender Processing Services Inc., said in an interview. “Even though they’re progressing somewhat, there’s still a foreclosure bottleneck.”

Florida, one of four so-called sand states that had the biggest booms before crashing, is the last of the group including California, Nevada and Arizona to rebound. While the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index for 20 U.S. cities surged 4.3 percent in October from a year earlier, the Miami and Tampa metropolitan areas in Florida were laggards among the component members “and have not recovered much so far,” according to index chairman David Blitzer.

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