With the never ending media coverage about foreclosures in the housing market, confusion reigns supreme. One story claims things are worse, another better. Depending on who is pushing the data, you would be hard pressed not to believe the sky was falling and everyone and their brother was going to lose their home to foreclosure. Fortunately, the facts trump the misleading information that you might be reading in the paper or hearing on your favorite news program.
Depending on the source, you might see foreclosure numbers represented in one of the following manners:
- The number of homeowners who received at least one notice of foreclosure – a Lis Pendens.
- The number of homes that have received notice they have been scheduled for a foreclosure sale.
- The number of homes actually taken over by the lender – actual post foreclosure Real Estate Owned properties (REO).
So, which one is a true representation of the foreclosure rate?
According to a report released by the Florida Realtors and SGS, “A brief comparison of Lis Pendens, Notices of Sale, and REO’s sheds some light on one of the possible reasons for large disparities in reports on foreclosures. Since about March of 2007, there has been a growing gap in the number of Lis Pendens issued and the number of homes that eventually went to auction. One must take great care, therefore, in reporting on statewide foreclosure statistics. While reporting the number of Lis Pendens filed may reflect the number of foreclosure proceedings started, it does not necessarily reflect the number of homes that were eventually sold at auction.”
Here are some of the numbers and analysis from the report for Florida in 2010.
- 180,402 filed Lis Pendens
- 140,105 Notices of Foreclosure Sale
- 2,800 Real Estate Owned Properties (REO’s)
- The total number of homes in some phase of foreclosure – all three categories – comes out to 323,307 Florida households.
Other report findings include:
- In 2010, 1 in every 29 Florida housing units were in some phase of foreclosure. In 2008, it was only 1 in every 54.
- The top Florida counties for high foreclosure rates were Lee, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Charlotte and Orange.
- The Florida counties with the lowest foreclosure rates were Taylor, Union, Jefferson, Lafayette and Liberty.
- There were 82,632 pre-foreclosure short sales throughout Florida in 2010.
Counties in Central and South Florida were the hardest hit in 2010, with several experiencing foreclosure rates in excess of 40 foreclosures per thousand households. The map to the right shows foreclosure rates, broken out by county. The most affected areas are shown in the deepest red, representing a 5% foreclosure rate.
Florida County by County Foreclosure Map
Foreclosures Comparison 2007 – 2010
The additional data and analysis in the report are quite eye opening, especially for the REO numbers. You can read it here – The Florida Foreclosure Report.
Here are the numbers we found for 2010 in Lee and Collier Counties – Southwest Florida Foreclosures: 2010 Year End Review.
In addition, here are some foreclosure numbers being reported for January and February, 2011 in Lee and Collier Counties.
- Lee County January, 2011 foreclosure filings – 374
- Lee County February, 2011 foreclosure filings – 346
- Lee County February, 2010 foreclosure filings – 1,421
- Lee County Active Foreclosure Listings March 1, 2010 – 609
- Collier County January, 2011 foreclosure filings – 156
- Collier County February, 2011 foreclosure filings – 111
- Collier County February, 2010 foreclosure filings – 565
- Collier County Active Foreclosure Listings March 1, 2010 – 389
Lee County Clerk of Court Charlie Green said “there are so few that the backlog of foreclosures that’s plagued the court system for three years may nearly be under control.” The backlog of foreclosures reached a peak of more than 28,000 in 2008 before the stepped-up processing of foreclosure cases known as the – rocket docket – started working on the backlog. Now, according to Green, “We’re just plain running out of inventory of properties remaining that have delinquent mortgages.” Only about 11,000 foreclosure cases remained in the system at the end of February.
Southwest Florida Foreclosures
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*Data from Florida Realtors, SGS, Realty Trac, SWFL MLS and Nabor MLS.
Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors
Bonita Springs, Florida