While the national trend shows home prices are rising and the supply of foreclosures is shrinking, on a more microscopic level, there are still metros where investors can find foreclosures at steep discounts and in greater abundance.
RealtyTrac compiled a list of the 20 best (and worst) metro areas to buy foreclosures in 2013. The online foreclosure marketplace took into account four factors: months' supply of foreclosure inventory, percentage of foreclosure sales, foreclosure discount, and percentage increase in foreclosure activity in from 2011 to 2012. All metros also had a population of 500,000 or more.
In its metro foreclosure report, RealtyTrac ranked Palm Bay, Florida as the No. 1 metro for foreclosure purchases.
From 2011 to 2012, the metro saw foreclosure activity increase 308 percent, and it has a 34 months' supply of foreclosure inventory. In addition, foreclosure discounts average 28 percent and foreclosure sales represent 24 percent of all sales.
Five other Florida metros were represented on the top 20 list, with Lakeland at No. 5, followed by Tampa (No. 6), Jacksonville (No. 7), Orlando (No. 9), and Miami (No. 12). Florida metros had an especially high percentage of foreclosure sales compared to other metros, with all of them averaging above 20 percent.
New York--a state known for its longer foreclosure timeline--also held a handful of metros on the list. The cities were Rochester (No. 2), Albany (No. 3), New York (No. 4), Poughkeepsie (No. 8), and Syracuse (No. 17). New York metros had an especially large months' supply of inventory, with Rochester at 78 months, Albany at 86, and New York at 97, the most out of any on the list.
The metro with the highest foreclosure discount was Bridgeport, Connecticut, where foreclosure discounts average 52 percent. Overall, the metro's ranking was No. 16. Cleveland, Ohio, also offers a notably high discount--47 percent--as well as Chicago (46 percent) and Philadelphia (43 percent).
Other cities that made the list were El Paso, Texas (No. 11); Allentown, Pennsylvania (No. 14); Youngstown, Ohio (No. 15); New Haven, Connecticut (No. 19); and Indianapolis, Indiana (No. 20).
Among the worst metros to buy foreclosures, McAllen, Texas, took the lead with its 12-month supply of foreclosure inventory. The metro has also seen a 66 percent decrease in foreclosure activity over a one-year period.
Other metros in the top five were Ogden, Utah; Little Rock, Arkansas; Las Vegas; and Salt Lake City. Hard-hit metro Phoenix also made the list and ranked No. 8.