Tampa Bay's housing market has struggled for years to recover, after a crash that sent home prices plummeting. By late 2010, banks were under fire for reckless foreclosures. That led many lenders to hold off on foreclosing.
"When the robo-signing scandal hit back in the end of 2010, it stopped things in their tracks," said Peter Murphy, of real estate firm Home Encounter. "And really, since 2011, we haven't had the number of foreclosure filings that we should have had."
But that break from foreclosures seems to be over. Nearly 280,000 Florida homes received a foreclosure filing in 2012. That's more than double the national average.
In Tampa Bay, the foreclosure rate rose from 1.8 percent in 2011 to 3.2 percent last year.
Murphy says the foreclosure break helped our market recover, but now it's time to sell vacant, distressed homes.
"There's a huge demand for homes in the Tampa Bay area, both from owner occupants who have been waiting for the market to improve and also from investors," Murphy said. "There's a huge demand from investors for homes on the market."
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