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Zooming in on foreclosure

Zooming in on foreclosure

Foreclosures have put strain on the real estate market over the past several years, but that pressure seems to be lifting, according to a CNN Money report. In fact, RealtyTrac recently released data showing that foreclosures dropped in 62 percent of the nation’s largest metro areas (212 markets in total) during the third quarter.

RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said that the significant decreases illustrate “that most of the nation’s housing markets are past the worst of the foreclosure problem.” Foreclosure activity in September 2012 was down from September 2007 in 58 percent of the metro markets measured by RealtyTrac.

Foreclosure activity dipped annually in 12 out of the 20 largest metro areas:

  • San Francisco — 36 percent
  • Detroit — 31 percent
  • Los Angeles — 29 percent
  • Phoenix — 27 percent
  • San Diego — 26 percent

On the other end, however, New York, Tampa, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Seattle saw a range of annual increases in foreclosure activity.

As foreclosure activity has fallen in many metro areas, real estate prices have increased, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities went up 2 percent this past August from the year prior. “The housing recovery has had modest momentum,” said Anika Khan, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, a subsidiary of the largest U.S. mortgage lender. Khan expects the positive trend to continue.