While 114 out of 212 metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more saw increases in foreclosure activity during the 2012 first quarter, activity was still down compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to ""RealtyTrac's"":http://www.realtytrac.com/home/ 2012 first quarter ""Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report"":http://www.realtytrac.com/content/foreclosure-market-report/foreclosure-trends--metro-foreclosure-activity-in-q1-2012-7167.[IMAGE]
Last year, 135 out of 212 metros areas saw increases in foreclosure activity in the first quarter.
""First quarter metro foreclosure trends were a mixed bag,"" said Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. ""While the majority of metro areas continued to show foreclosure activity down from a year ago, more than half reported increasing foreclosure activity from the previous quarter - an early sign that long-dormant foreclosures are coming out of hibernation in many local markets.""
Michelle Schneider, a public relations consultant for RealtyTrac, further explained increases in activity are mostly due to the backlog of two main types of distressed loans pushing their way through: loans that are 90 days or more delinquent that are moving into foreclosure and properties in foreclosure that are getting auctioned off or foreclosed on.
*Foreclosure activity on an annual basis*
Out of the 50 largest metro areas, 33 saw a drop in foreclosure activity compared to a year ago, with Las Vegas (-61 percent) leading, followed by Seattle (-53 percent), Austin (-51 percent), Salt Lake City (-49 percent), and Buffalo (-47 percent).
The metro areas that saw the largest increases in foreclosure activity among the 50 were Orlando (+52 percent); Indianapolis (+41 percent); Hartford, Connecticut (+38 percent); Miami (+37 percent); and Philadelphia (+33 percent).
*Foreclosure activity on a quarterly basis*
The largest metro areas out of the 50 with the highest quarterly decreases in foreclosure activity were Portland (-28 percent), Las Vegas (-26 percent), Providence (-24 percent), Salt Lake City (-22 percent), Boston (-21 percent), and San Jose (-21 percent).[COLUMN_BREAK]
Out of the 50 largest metro areas, 26 increased in foreclosure activity on a quarterly basis, with Pittsburgh experiencing the highest increase at 49 percent, followed by Indianapolis (+37 percent); Philadelphia (+30 percent); New York (+24 percent); Raleigh, North Carolina (+23 percent); and Virginia Beach, Virginia (+22 percent).
With a foreclosure filing on one in every 60 housing units, Stockton, California had the highest metropolitan foreclosure rate in the first quarter. The city's foreclosure rate is three times the national average, and 3,912 of its properties had foreclosure filings in the first quarter, a 13 percent decrease from the previous quarter and a 19 percent decrease from the first quarter a year ago.
Another California metro, Modesto, had the second highest foreclosure rate, and 10 more California areas were in the top 20 for having the highest foreclosure rates. The other cities were Riverside-San Bernardino (No. 3), Vallejo-Fairfield (No. 4), Merced (No. 5), Sacramento (No. 6), Bakersfield (No. 7), Visalia-Porterville (No. 10), Fresno (No. 12), Oxnard-Thousand Oaks (No. 14), Chico (No. 18), and Santa Rosa-Petaluma (No. 20).
Reporting one in every 82 housing units with a foreclosure filing in the first quarter, the foreclosure rate, Las Vegas-Paradise was number eight. Despite the high ranking, Las Vegas saw a substantial drop in the number of properties with a foreclosure filing, down 26 percent compared the previous quarter and 61 percent compared to the first quarter a year ago.
The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area had the ninth highest foreclosure rate for the quarter, with one in every 87 housing units with a foreclosure filing.
Other metro areas with foreclosure rates in the top 20 category included Atlanta (No. 11); Miami (No. 13); Orlando (No. 15); Rockford, Illinois (No. 16); Chicago (No. 17); and Prescott, Arizona (No. 19).
*Foreclosure rates among the 50 largest metros*
Of the 50 largest metro areas, Riverside-San Bernardino posted the highest foreclosure rate, with one in every 62 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the quarter.
Other metros with foreclosure rates that were more than twice the national average included Sacramento (one in 77 housing units), Las Vegas (one in 82 housing units), Phoenix (one in 87 housing units), Atlanta (one in 90 housing units), Miami (one in 95 housing units), Orlando (one in 101 housing units), and Chicago (one in 107 housing units).
RealtyTrac is an online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 2 million default, auction, and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, along with detailed property, loan and home sales data.