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Foreclosures: South Florida lags nation, still digging out

Given all the evidence and firm data, there is really no disputing what many people persistently say is a flat reality in the South Florida housing market, namely this: Notwithstanding the good news across the country generally concerning a rise in home equity and escalating market values for homes, South Florida lags virtually all areas in noticing that uptick.

In fact, and as noted by Corelogic, a real estate data firm, more than 40 percent of all homes in the Miami area that have mortgages are still underwater. That truly spells a high foreclosure rate, and one that is more than double the national average.

And another data firm, RealtyTrac, notes that foreclosure-related activity in Miami-Dade County is up by almost 80 percent from a year ago. That is a whopping six times higher than the national average.

As commentators note, such statistics go far toward explaining why, comparatively, not many houses in South Florida have “for sale” signs posted: If sliding prices over the past few years have resulted in an owner’s equity slipping beneath a home’s value, the result will be the need for that owner to write a check at closing to pay the amount that the home is “underwater.”

The news is not all bad. Despite the high rate of foreclosures, the region’s share of underwater homes is slightly down from a year ago. That denotes that, while the region lags, it is nonetheless tracking the general improvement being seen nationally.

In an uncertain economy, and in any instance where foreclosure is a concern, a proven bankruptcy and debt-relief attorney can be an invaluable resource to a person seeking knowledge, options and a fresh financial start.

Source: Miami Herald, "South Florida still under a cloud of foreclosures and negative equity," Martha Brannigan, June 13, 2013

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