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Distressed Housing Market Shrinks Dramatically in Florida

Posted by Benjamin Dona on Thursday, March 13th, 2014 at 9:17am.

Florida Foreclosures Drop in February, 2014According to a Realty Trac report on the U.S. Foreclosure Market for February, 2014, foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions - totaled 112,498 properties, a 10% decrease from January and a 27% decrease from February, 2013.

After a 10% month-over-month jump in January, U.S. foreclosures retreated to their lowest level since December, 2005 - a 98 month low. A total of 51,842 U.S. properties "started"  the foreclosure process for the first time in February, down 9% from the previous month and down 27% from a year ago.

States with the most owner-vacated foreclosures were Florida with 54,908, Illinois (15,512), New York (10,880), New Jersey (8,595), and Ohio (7,780).

Florida foreclosure starts decreased annually for the 12th consecutive month, and Florida bank repossessions decreased annually for the sixth consecutive month. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in Florida also decreased 2% annually in February after 13 consecutive months of annual increases.

On a more local level, foreclosure actions increased in Charlotte and Lee Counties, but decreased in Collier County in February compared with the previous month. Collier County reported 273 foreclosure filings, down 19% in February. Lee’s foreclosure actions totaled 764 or a 26% increase in February, while foreclosure actions in Charlotte County were up 52% to 366. For Florida as a whole, the number of foreclosure actions filed in February totaled 24,181 or a decrease of 7% versus the previous month. Compared to a year ago, foreclosure actions statewide fell 24% across the U.S., default notices, scheduled foreclosure actions and bank repossessions were down 27% versus February a year ago.

For Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties, there are only 788 foreclosures currently listed for sale out of a total of over 14,000+ active listings in the MLS. Short Sales total only 373 active listings.

The bottom line is, foreclosures (and short sales) are continuing to become less and less of a "thing"  in our market area here in SW Florida. And, with the 2% average monthly price increase we've been seeing over the last 12 months, this downward trend is surely to continue. Most likely we'll be back to "normal"  here in no time at all.

SW Florida Foreclosed Properties

*Listing Data Statistics from SWFL MLS.

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