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Report: Foreclosure filings drop in metro area

By Staff | Jul 30, 2009

Local foreclosure filings for the first half of 2009 decreased slightly from the last six months of 2008, but the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area maintained the second highest foreclosure rate in the country.
A study released today by Realty Trac, a California-based company that tracks foreclosed properties, shows there were 25,926 foreclosure filings in the metro area in the first half of the year, or one in every 14 housing units.
That figure is a 2.66 percent decrease from the last half of 2008, but a 26.06 percent increase from the first half of 2008.
The local foreclosure rate was bested only by the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area, which had a rate of one in every 13 housing units.
Realty Trac’s study suggested the most recent string of foreclosures was more closely related to unemployment numbers than subprime and adjustable rate loans.
“Foreclosure activity continued its upward trajectory nationwide and in the majority of metro areas in the first half of the year, but there are some differences beginning to show up in the data,” James Saccacio, chief executive officer of Realty Trac, is quoted in the report.
Although new home sales jumped nationwide in June, the glut of local foreclosures is depressing home values in the area.
The low prices — the median sale price of an existing single-family home in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area was $87,900 — are fueling a flurry of sales, but many buyers are investors.
“Clearly foreclosures are still dominating this market,” said Gary Tasman, a Realtor with Cushman & Wakefield.
Tasman believes the Cape Coral housing market is already starting to rebound, but said filling homes with occupants instead of absent investors.
“(Foreclosures) are still going to investors. Until we see those houses being occupied by people with jobs that demand services in the Cape we’re not going to see the full recovery,” he said.