Florida leads nation in vacant foreclosed properties

300-FORECLOSURESHistoric City News has learned from a report released yesterday by RealtyTrac, that Florida has more vacant homes in foreclosure than any other state in the nation; easily beating out other large states with troubled housing markets.

There are 55,503 housing units in foreclosure in Florida that are vacant. That’s 33 percent of the 167,680 vacated foreclosures in the country. Florida’s vacated foreclosures are more than the next five highest states combined — Illinois, California, Ohio, New York and New Jersey.

The average foreclosure takes 893 days in Florida. There are 22-percent of mortgages in Florida that are either delinquent or behind on payments as of April, in addition to the 10.5 percent in foreclosure, according to the report.

The vacated properties are a drag on property values because many are left neglected.

When they eventually do sell, foreclosed homes typically are sold for much lower than market value; so, steadily dumping new foreclosed properties on the market will only further depress home values.

While existing “single family home” sales jumped 18.7 percent last month in the year-over-year comparison, and the median sales price rose 15.9 percent to $171,000, which is encouraging; the potential for more distressed properties to enter into foreclosure, the lag time for those homes to re-enter the market, and the price they will eventually fetch, has led state economists to temper their projections for the “housing recovery” just yet.

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