Foreclosure activity increased in 65 percent of 206 metropolitan markets with populations of 200,000 or more in the third quarter, according to a report by foreclosure data aggregator RealtyTrac.

RealtyTrac’s Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report tracks the number of properties in metro areas that receive at least one foreclosure filing (default notice, auction, or bank repossession) every quarter.

California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona were home to 19 of the top 20 markets with the highest foreclosure rates in the nation during the third quarter.

Foreclosure activity increased in 65 percent of 206 metropolitan markets with populations of 200,000 or more in the third quarter, according to a report by foreclosure data aggregator RealtyTrac.

RealtyTrac’s Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report tracks the number of properties in metro areas that receive at least one foreclosure filing (default notice, auction, or bank repossession) every quarter.

California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona were home to 19 of the top 20 markets with the highest foreclosure rates in the nation during the third quarter.

"The underlying problems that are causing homeowners to miss their mortgage payments — high unemployment, underemployment, toxic loans and negative equity — are continuing to plague most local housing markets," said James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac’s CEO, in a statement. "And these historically high foreclosure rates will continue until those problems are resolved."

Las Vegas continued to post the nation’s highest foreclosure rate, with 1 in 25 units (4 percent) receiving a foreclosure filing. A total of 32,288 units received a filing, up 1.5 percent from the second quarter but down 20 percent year-over-year.

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., had the second-highest foreclosure rate. One in 35 units receiving a foreclosure filing — a total of 10,352 properties. That’s up 12 percent from the second quarter, but down 21.6 percent year-over-year.

Modesto (1 in 36 units), Stockton (1 in 39), and Merced, Calif. (1 in 40), had the third-, fourth- and fifth-highest foreclosure rates, respectively. Year-over-year, the volume of properties receiving filings fell 18 percent, 26 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla., had the seventh-highest rate: 1 in 41 units, and a total of 58,624 properties received a foreclosure filing — the highest total among metro area tracked. Foreclosure activity there rose 24.5 percent quarter-to-quarter and 9.2 percent year-over-year.

Top 10 foreclosure hotspots by volume:

Rank Market No. of properties with filings Filings per housing units
  U.S. 930,437 1 in 139
1 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla. 58,624 1 in 41
2 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. 48,849 1 in 91
3 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. 44,732 1 in 84
4 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. 39,199 1 in 44
5 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. 35,863 1 in 41
6 Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. 32,288 1 in 25
7 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. 29,824 1 in 72
8 Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich. 26,971 1 in 70
9 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. 20,504 1 in 362
10 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. 19,248 1 in 69

Source: RealtyTrac.

The No.8 spot was held by Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.: 1 in 44 units, a total of 39,199 properties, received a foreclosure filing. That’s a 9.3 percent increase from the second quarter and a 3.4 percent drop from 2009’s third quarter.

The Phoenix area also had the highest number of bank repossessions (REOs) of any metro area, 14,317 — up 6 percent from the second quarter and up nearly 28 percent from the third quarter of 2009, the report said.

Two more California metro areas rounded out the top 10: Bakersfield (1 in 44) and Vallejo-Fairfield (1 in 45). Each saw total foreclosure activity drop by 21 percent year-over-year.

Top 20 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates:

Rate Rank Market Filings per housing units Unemployment rate (% in August)
  U.S. 1 in 139 9.6
1 Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. 1 in 25 14.7
2 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. 1 in 35 13.7
3 Modesto, Calif. 1 in 36 16.4
4 Stockton, Calif. 1 in 39 16.6
5 Merced, Calif. 1 in 40 17.4
6 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. 1 in 41 14.8
7 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla. 1 in 41 12.8
8 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. 1 in 44 9.1
9 Bakersfield, Calif. 1 in 44 15.3
10 Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. 1 in 45 12
11 Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla. 1 in 47 11.9
12 Reno-Sparks, Nev. 1 in 50 13.3
13 Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif. 1 in 50 13.3
14 Boise City-Nampa, Idaho 1 in 52 9.1
15 Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla. 1 in 53 12.6
16 Fresno, Calif. 1 in 58 15.4
17 Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 1 in 60 15.9
18 Naples-Marco Island, Fla. 1 in 60 13.6
19 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla. 1 in 61 11.9
20 Lakeland, Fla. 1 in 61 13.4

Source: RealtyTrac, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Only five of the 20 cities with the highest foreclosure rates posted increases in foreclosure activity from the third quarter of 2009. One was Boise City-Nampa, Idaho; the rest were in Florida.

Eleven of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas saw year-over-year increases, according to the report. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. saw the biggest jump, 71 percent, followed by Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill. (35 percent increase); Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (26 percent); Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich. (23 percent); and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. (20 percent).

The top 20 cities with the biggest increases in year-over-year activity were not in the hardest-hit states. These cities were spread throughout the country in Texas, Washington, the Carolinas and Ohio, among others. Only eight of these 20 cities saw their unemployment rates rise in August from August 2009 and only a quarter had unemployment rates higher than the national average.

Top 20 metro areas with the highest increases in foreclosure activity:

Rank by activity increase Market % change from Q3 2009 Unemployment rate (% in Aug. 2009) Unemployment rate (% in Aug. 2010)
1 Lynchburg, Va. 582.9 7.6 8
2 Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Wash. 461.5 6.7 6.4
3 Fayetteville, N.C. 240.4 5.8 6.5
4 Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, S.C. 107.7 10.7 10.5
5 Columbus, Ohio 91.8 9.6 9.7
6 Olympia, Wash. 73.2 7.7 7.5
7 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. 71.2 8.7 8.5
8 Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Tenn.-Va. 70.5 9.7 8.8
9 Tyler, Texas 69.3 7.9 7.8
10 York-Hanover, Pa. 65.9 8.9 9
11 Albuquerque, N.M. 62.4 8 8.9
12 Wilmington, N.C. 62.0 10.1 9.3
13 Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, Mich. 61.4 11.9 11.8
14 Champaign-Urbana, Ill. 55.4 9.6 9.4
15 Honolulu, Hawaii 55.4 6 5.6
16 Dayton, Ohio 53.8 11.3 10.3
17 Duluth, Minn.-Wis. 52.4 8.8 7.5
18 Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas 50.9 10.4 10.9
19 Charleston-North Charleston, S.C. 50.8 7.4 8.1
20 Corpus Christi, Texas 49.9 7.7 8.3

Source: RealtyTrac, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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