TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Across the whole of the United States, foreclosures increased 11% from January. The state with the highest number of foreclosures was California, but Florida wasn’t far behind at No. 2, according to ATTOM, a real estate analyst company.
“February foreclosure activity looks a lot like what we can expect to see for at least the next six months – double digit month-over-month growth, and triple digit year-over-year increases,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president at RealtyTrac, an ATTOM company.
In the Sunshine State, where housing costs and inflation are the name of the game, and solutions are either out of reach or out of sight, there were 1,527 foreclosure starts. ATTOM’s study highlighted Lakeland, where roughly one in every 2,000 homes was foreclosed on. It was the fourth highest proportion, or foreclosure rate, in the country. According to the study, Jacksonville and Orlando weren’t far behind.
In Jacksonville, one in every 2,452 housing units was foreclosed on. In Orlando, one in every 2,655.
While Florida was ranked second for highest number of foreclosure starts in February, across the U.S., 39 states and the District of Columbia all saw foreclosure frequency increase by 40%, according to ATTOM. It was up 176% from the year before.
State-by-state, here’s the top five most foreclosure starts in February 2022.
|State||# of Foreclosure Starts|
Still, ATTOM says it’s not all bad. While foreclosures in the U.S. were up in February compared to last year, they were still down significantly from the month before.
“Lenders repossessed 2,634 U.S. properties through completed foreclosures (REOs) in February 2022, down 45% from last month but up 70% from last year,” ATTOM said. Florida alone had a 43% decrease in monthly foreclosures and repossessions.
ATTOM said the change in foreclosure activity isn’t a sign of economic trouble.
“This isn’t an indication of economic turmoil, or of weakness in the housing market; it’s simply the gradual return to normal levels of foreclosure activity after two years of artificially low numbers due to government and industry efforts to protect financially-impacted homeowners from defaulting,” said Sharga.