Friday, February 16, 2007

Foreclosures jump 25% in January

Housing Sales Fall in 40 States in 4Q
U.S. housing starts plunge 14.3% to lowest rate in 10 years
By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch
Last Update: 2:52 PM ET Feb 12, 2007

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The number of U.S. homes entering the foreclosure process because of nonpayment on mortgages rose to 130,511 in January, 25% more than in January 2006, according to data released Monday by Realtytrac Inc.

The foreclosure rate was one for every 886 U.S. households.

The 130,511 foreclosures is the highest monthly total since the firm began tracking national foreclosures two years ago. Foreclosures were up 19% compared with December.

With different laws and economic climates, foreclosure rates varied widely among metropolitan areas and states.

There were 14,728 foreclosure filings in Texas, but just two in Vermont.

Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate, with one foreclosure filing for every 362 households. By contrast, Vermont's two foreclosures amounted to one in every 147,191 households.

The remaining top five states for foreclosures were Michigan (one in 366 households), Georgia (one in 372), Colorado (one in 377) and Arizona (one in 526). Jurisdictions with few foreclosures per households included Maine, the District of Columbia, New Hampshire and the Dakotas.

Detroit had the highest foreclosure rate among cities: one for every 124 households. Greeley, Colo., had a foreclosure rate of one in 173, while Atlanta had one for every 214. Foreclosures doubled in Detroit and rose by 25% in Atlanta compared with December.

Rex Nutting is Washington bureau chief of MarketWatch.

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