Monday, March 26, 2007

Florida Forclosures Now Highest in the US

New statistics released by RealtyTrac, an internet real estate foreclosure specialist, reveal that the Florida real estate market may be in the most trouble in the nation.

According to those statistics, more than 19,144 Florida properties were in some stage of foreclosure in February. The foreclosure rate for Florida jumped over sixty-three percent from the prior month and nearly double the number from February 2006. This equates to a rate of 1 foreclosure filing for every 382 Florida households - more than double the national average of 1 foreclosure filing per 884 US households.

The true panic does not seem to have hit the Florida market yet, but with billions of dollars of adjustable rate mortgages resetting this year in the United States, the panic may not be far off.
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Anonymous said...

You just love the misery, don't you Dave? Have you ever thought that lots of quality people are struggling to hang onto their houses and greedy speculators aren't the only ones that are getting hurt?

Cayo Dave said...

Actually just the opposite - I love joy. MIsery saddens me. But I do believe in a universal law - "Contradictions destroy themselves." And that basic law led me to conclude that the housing bubble was due to pop - as it always has. This time though, since the bubble was so much larger than ever before, the pop is going to be a boom and the reverberation will be nearly as severe as the white-hot appreciation the market saw over the past 5 years.
I'm sorry to hear about "quality" people who are stuggling to hang onto their houses. Were they the victim of predatory lending practices? Did they pay too much for a home thinking they'll be able to refinance and are now stuck in an ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) since banks will not now loan to stated income and no documentation borrowers? Did they believe something their real estate broker told them that was not true? Or did they become mini-real-estate speculators - trying to flip a house - and now realize that every market's prices can go up AND down?
Why should these quality people be hanging onto their houses? The jobs picture looks good. Wages look strong. Maybe because the "quality" borrower paid too much for their house?
My biggest concern is what the real estate bubble has done to too many communities in the US - including Key West.
Speculators and developers have turned many communities on their ear while the bubble inflated. Workers, communities, and culture have suffered.
A speculative bubble in the stock market will have shocks through the financial community. But a speculative bubble in the housing market will have shocks in the way we are able to live. And since bubbles are by their nature short term, they are particularly troublesome when related to housing.
I will repeat it again - the tough times in real estate are only beginning. Look for prices to fall at least 20% more (could be up to 50% more) and for prices to not start moving higher for at least 5 more years.
Oh, and don't shoot the messenger.

Anonymous said...

Now there's no question: you really do love the misery. Ugh. A lot of good people who bought homes to improve the quality of their lives and Dave is gloating. What the heck do you do for a living, manager an apartment building or something?