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Cape-Fort Myers area foreclosures down in May

By Staff | Jun 11, 2009

Foreclosures fell in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area in May, with one in every 82 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, down from the one in every 57 units that received a filing in April, according to a report released Wednesday from Realty Trac, a California-based company that tracks foreclosed properties.
The metro area also fell from first on the foreclosure rate list in April to sixth in May.
Nationwide, May foreclosures were down 6 percent from April, with one in every 398 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, but last month was still one of the worst ever for U.S. foreclosures.
“May foreclosure activity was the third highest month on record, and marked the third straight month where the total number of properties with foreclosure filings exceeded 300,000 — a first in the history of our report,” James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of Realty Trac, said in a prepared statement.
Foreclosure filings in Lee County dipped slightly in May, reflecting Realty Trac’s report.
There were 1,803 foreclosure cases filed in Lee County in May, down from the 1,902 cases filed in April.
The number of foreclosures is still high, however, and they are enticing buyers to the local market.
“Sixty-two percent of our sales this year have been foreclosures,” said Paula Hellenbrand, president of the Cape Coral Association of Realtors.
Mortgage holders are pricing foreclosed homes to sell when they come on the market, bringing in buyers who are bidding on a shrinking number of foreclosed properties.
“We have just a very small percentage of foreclosures that are on the market. (Banks) are listing these things ridiculously low. It creates a frenzy of activity around these things,” Hellenbrand said.
Florida ranked third among states, with one in every 148 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in May — an 8.76 percent decrease from April, but a 50.4 percent increase from May 2008.
California ranked second, with a foreclosure rate of one in every 144 housing units. Nevada topped the list with a rate of one in every 64.