Sunday, July 6, 2008

L.A., Miami Home Foreclosure Rates More Than Double

L.A., Miami Home Foreclosure Rates More Than Double

By Sharon L. Lynch

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New foreclosures almost quadrupled in Los Angeles and doubled in Miami in the second quarter, with as much as $5 billion worth of loans going bad in L.A. alone, the online real estate data company PropertyShark.com reported.

The number of homes scheduled for auction in Los Angeles rose 14,505 compared with 3,797 in the same period a year earlier, PropertyShark said in a report distributed by e-mail. In Miami-Dade County, the number climbed to 2,677 from 1,282.

``The foreclosure chart for Los Angeles is unfortunately starting to look like a ski jump,'' Adina Dumitru, a member of PropertyShark's foreclosure products team, said in the statement.

The percentage of U.S. homes in foreclosure more than doubled since December 2006 to about 2.5 percent this March, according to the Washington-based Mortgage Bankers Association. Defaults among subprime borrowers with poor or limited credit histories are driving the increase, along with the rising number of people unable to make payments on adjustable-rate mortgages that started out with low ``teaser'' interest rates that increase after two or three years.

PropertyShark didn't immediately have access to data on the total value of liens against properties being foreclosed on in Miami, spokesman Brian Scully said in response to an e-mailed question.

New York Foreclosures Rise

The company's report focused on four metropolitan areas, including New York City and Seattle.

New York's foreclosures climbed 49 percent, to include 961 properties with an average lien of $460,970 for a total of $424 million in outstanding debt. Los Angeles had about 15 times as many foreclosed properties set to be sold.

The $5 billion worth of outstanding liens against Los Angeles properties was four times as much as the same quarter of 2007, PropertyShark said.

The Palmdale Zip code of 93550 led Los Angeles County with the most trustee sales scheduled, followed by Zip code 93535 of Lancaster and 91342 for Los Angeles itself.

In Seattle, 493 new foreclosures were scheduled in the quarter, up nearly 48 percent from a year earlier.

PropertyShark counts properties scheduled for auction for the first time during the quarter as foreclosures and excludes homes that have been in and out of the foreclosure process or have been subject to auction delays. The data is collected from government records and legal notices.

All four of the areas surveyed showed increased foreclosures compared with the previous year and with the previous quarter.

The number of foreclosure sales slated in Los Angeles jumped 63 percent in the second quarter from the first quarter. The figure rose 28 percent in Seattle, 20 percent in Miami and 5 percent in New York.

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