Average "Home" in south Florida underwater?

Inquiring minds are looking upon Broward County (remember when we just knew these people just didn’t know how to vote?) where homes in some stage of foreclosure accounted for an increbibly large portion of South Florida sales during the third quarter. What’s worse is that this trend will hinder the housing market for the forseeable future.

About 42 percent of Broward County homes sold during the July-through-September period were in default, scheduled for auction or bank-owned, RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

In Florida, Broward was second only to Miami-Dade County with 4,688 foreclosure-related sales in the quarter, down 6 percent from the second quarter.

Roughly 31 percent of Palm Beach County home sales involved a foreclosure during the period. The county had 2,303 foreclosure sales in the third quarter, up 2 percent from the second quarter.

Sometimes, deep analysis its not:

“Foreclosures are still a big part of the housing market because there’s such a built-in discount,” said Daren Blomquist, a spokesman for RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif.-based listing firm.

On the national level, Mr. Blomquist did say:

As a share of overall home sales, foreclosure sales rose slightly from the second quarter. They peaked at 37 percent of all sales in the first quarter of 2009, but have ranged between 25 percent and 30 percent this year, Blomquist said.

What may be of bigger news is that data shows just how much the foreclosure problems at banks is affecting the marketplace:

Foreclosure sales plunged 25 percent in the July-September quarter versus the April-June period and tumbled 31 percent from the third quarter last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

Sales of non-foreclosed properties fell 29 percent sequentially and nearly 31 percent from the third quarter last year, the firm said.

This decline in sales of REO’s and other homes in some stage of foreclosure is in accordance with the overall housing market slowdown that settled in after federal homebuyer tax credits expired in April. Once again, Mr. Blomquist:

“We could expect probably in the fourth quarter to see that percentage of foreclosure sales dip because buyers are a bit skittish about purchasing foreclosure properties, given the questions surrounding the foreclosure process,”

Going forward, Florida only has 10% of Alt-A loans…California has 58%.


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