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Foreclosure filings declined in Southwest Florida
Foreclosure filings declined in Southwest Florida in first-quarter 2019 from the previous three-month period, tracking with the national trend.
But unlike the U.S., local foreclosure activity accelerated when compared over the year.
From January through March, foreclosure filings in the Sarasota-Manatee region fell 18 percent from late 2018 but were up by 39 percent from a year earlier, according to the latest report from real estate researcher ATTOM Data Solutions.
A total of 648 residential properties, or one in every 645 homes in the two-county area, were in some stage of distress. That ranked 55th among the 220 major metro areas measured by ATTOM.
Charlotte County reported 205 filings, or one in every 501 housing units. That was down by 11 percent from fourth-quarter 2018 but 24 percent higher than the year before.
In Florida, filings were down 19 percent from the fourth quarter but up 24 percent for the year. Florida ranked fourth in the nation with one in every 487 homes subject to default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions.
Foreclosure starts spiked 65 percent over the year in Florida, a likely result of homeowners in the northern part of the state who suffered economic losses from Hurricane Michael last year.
And nationwide, properties with a foreclosure filing were down 23 percent from the previous quarter and down 15 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since first-quarter 2008.
“While some markets saw a slight uptick in foreclosure filings that is above pre-recession levels, the majority of the major markets are well below pre-recession levels,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM. “While we did see a slight increase in U.S. foreclosure starts from last quarter, bank repossessions reached an all-time low in the first quarter of 2019, showing continuing signs of a strong housing market.”
Last year foreclosure activity in Sarasota-Manatee receded to its lowest level since 2006, and has now held for several years at what analysts consider a normal volume of troubled homeowners. Filings in the region have plunged 90 percent from their recession-era highs, far from the days when the region posted one of the top foreclosure rates in the nation.
The average time to close a foreclosure in Florida was fifth longest at 1,196 days, according to the report.