Florida Foreclosure Cities Poised for 2013 Home Bargains

Five Florida cities and four in New York are among the top 10 U.S. locations for buying foreclosed homes at a discount as both states work through a backlog of properties with distressed debt, RealtyTrac Inc. said today.

Florida’s Palm Bay metropolitan area, with a 34-month foreclosure supply and 28 percent average discount to homes without debt problems, is the most likely place for bargains in 2013, the data firm said in a statement. Lakeland, Tampa, Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida, are also primed for deals following a year in which a quarter of all sales involved distressed homes, the Irvine, California-based company said.

“The underlying fundamentals in many of those markets are slowly improving, making it an opportune time to absorb additional foreclosure inventory this year -- and that is particularly good news for buyers and investors,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in the statement. The number of default, auction and repossession filings last year surged more than fourfold in Palm Bay, almost doubled in Lakeland and rose 80 percent in Tampa, according to the company.

One in every 32 Florida households received at least one notice last year, more than double the average U.S. rate of one in 72, RealtyTrac said on Jan. 17. Statewide, home repossessions increased by 16,276 over the 12-month period to 84,456, the biggest gain in the U.S. The state’s foreclosure crisis is exacerbated by a required court review of each case.

The Rochester area in New York, with a 133 percent jump last year in foreclosure filings, ranked second on the RealtyTrac list of bargain locations, followed by the Albany, Schenectady and Troy region, where filings more than doubled, and New York City, with a 28 percent increase. While the state also has a judicial process, foreclosure sales made up less than 8 percent of total purchases in those cities, data from the company show.

RealtyTrac summed up cities’ foreclosure supply, share of distressed sales, average discount and percentage increase in foreclosure filings to rank all U.S. metro areas with populations of at least 500,000, the company said.

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