Report puts Florida at top of the list for foreclosures

Jun 8, 2011

The following article was published in the Florida Tribune on June 7, 2011:

Report puts Florida at the top of the list for foreclosures

Florida has once again been deemed the center of the nation’s suffering housing market, as a new study shows the state is responsible for more foreclosures than any other state.

In a report released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University titled “The State of the Nation’s Housing,” Florida accounted for 15 percent of all foreclosures in the country in 2010, which is more than any other state.

Florida is also home to the most neighborhoods with a large number of foreclosures. Neighborhoods with 1,500 to 2,000 homes are considered census tracts. Of the 6,506 census tracts throughout the country with the most foreclosures, Florida has more than any other state with 1,423.

Out of those census tracts in Florida, 351 have a foreclosure rate that is 10 percent or more, which is second to Michigan (549 census tracts).

The report not only paints a grim picture for Florida’s housing market, it also claims it is not much better throughout the rest of the country.

“The state of the nation’s housing is sobering,” Eric Belsky, managing director for the JCHS, said. “Total housing construction over the previous decade now barely exceeds the lowest level of any ten-year period in records dating back to 1974, but vacancies remain elevated because the recession has driven demand down so sharply.”

The report states that the consistent decline of home prices, increasing foreclosures, underwater homeowners, and high-standards for lending “are all holding back homebuyer demand.”

Despite the ongoing slump, the report notes that a few states have shown improvements and the number of those renting have increased and has given a slight rise to property values.

“The ingredients for a sustained recovery may be coming together, but it is still not clear when homebuyers will have the urgency to return to the market in sufficient numbers to lift the market in a meaningful way,” Chris Herbert, research director of the JCHS, said in a statement.

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