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Foreclosure Activity up 6% in February

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RISMEDIA, March 12, 2009-RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com), one of the leading online marketplaces for foreclosure properties, released its February 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market ReportTM, which shows foreclosure filings – default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions – were reported on 290,631 U.S. properties during the month, an increase of nearly 6% from the previous month and an increase of nearly 30% from February 2008. The report also shows one in every 440 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in February.

“The increase in foreclosure activity from January to February is somewhat surprising, given that many of the foreclosure prevention efforts and moratoria in place in January were extended through most of February as well,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “There were some notable exceptions to this: a 45-day voluntary moratorium in Florida expired at the end of January, and foreclosure activity there was up 14 percent from the previous month; and many New York foreclosure proceedings delayed by a new law for an extra 90 days appear to have hit the system in February, when the state’s foreclosure activity increased 23 percent from the previous month.”

Nevada, Arizona, California post top state foreclosure rates

With one in every 70 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in February, Nevada continued to document the nation’s top state foreclosure rate. Foreclosure filings were reported on 15,783 Nevada properties during the month, a 9% increase from the previous month and a 156% increase from February 2008.

Arizona posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in February, with one in every 147 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, and California posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 165 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Oregon and Ohio.

California, Florida, Arizona post highest foreclosure totals

Foreclosure filings were reported on 80,775 California properties in February, the most of any state and a 5% increase from the previous month. The state’s foreclosure activity increased 51% from February 2008, with auction sale notices increasing nearly 179% – the most of any category on a year-over-year basis.

Florida foreclosure activity increased nearly 14% from the previous month and 43% from February 2008 – thanks in large part to a nearly 158% year-over-year increase in auction sale notices and a 128% year-over-year increase in bank repossessions. With 46,391 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, the state posted the nation’s second highest state total in February.

Arizona posted the third highest state total in February, with 18,119 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the month – a 23% increase from the previous month and an 88% increase from February 2008.

Nevada, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Georgia and Virginia also reported foreclosure totals that were among the nation’s 10 highest.

Sunbelt cities post top metro foreclosure rates

One in every 60 Las Vegas housing units received a foreclosure filing in February, giving the city the nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000. The city’s foreclosure rate was more than seven times higher than the national average. Another Nevada metro area posted a foreclosure rate in the top 10: Reno-Sparks ranked No. 8, with one in every 108 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area documented the second highest foreclosure rate in February, with one in every 65 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.

Six California cities registered foreclosure rates among the top 10: Stockton at No. 3 (one in 67 housing units), Modesto at No. 4 (one in 68), Merced at No. 5 (one in 74), Riverside-San Bernardino at No. 6 (one in 80), Bakersfield at No. 7 (one in 85), and Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 10 (one in 111).

With one in every 110 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, the Phoenix metro area posted the ninth highest foreclosure rate in February.

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