April 23, 2009

March 2009: Top 26 foreclosure rates all in 4 Sand States

Here we are, a couple of years into the mortgage meltdown, and foreclosures are still concentrated in the four Sand States. Normally, spikes in foreclosure rates are caused by recessions, but this is the first time in memory when a recession (or worse) was caused by foreclosures.
Foreclosure leaders focused on 4 states in new metro list

By Catherine Clifford, CNNMoney.com staff writer

The 26 cities with the highest foreclosure rate in the nation are all located in four hard-hit states, with Las Vegas topping the list, according to a report released Wednesday.

Metro areas in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona topped the foreclosure filing list for the first quarter of 2009 in a report from RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed properties. A foreclosure filing includes default papers, auction sale notices and repossessions.

Las Vegas had the highest rate of foreclosures of any city, with one in every 22 homes subject to a foreclosure filing in the first three months of the year. The rate of foreclosure filings was 4.5%, seven times the national average.

Merced, Calif., had the second highest rate, with Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., Stockton, Calif., and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., rounding out the top five.

"The metro areas with the highest levels of foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2009 paint a picture of concentrated problems in a relatively small number of hard-hit areas," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a written statement.

Foreclosure rates have been very high in the 4 key states throughout the bursting of the housing bubble, and so it was to be expected that cities from those states would pepper the top of the list.

However, it was a surprise to see the list so top heavy, according to Rick Sharga, senior vice president at RealtyTrac.

"The concentration of troubled metro areas within the hardest-hit states, candidly, was even more severe than we expected it to be," Sharga said. "The degree to which those four states dominated the rankings surprised even us."

The economic downturn set off by the Sand States' mortgage meltdown has spread enough that foreclosures are finally trickling down to other regions:

New problem cities: Meanwhile, some metropolitan areas had a surge in foreclosures. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, in 27th place, Provo-Orem, Utah, in 37th, and Charleston-North Charleston, S.C., in 51st were examples Sharga gave of areas that had particular strong gains in filings.

Sharga said the rise of foreclosures in additional regions indicates new factors influencing the housing market as the recession drags on.

"What we believe we are seeing is some of the areas with unemployment problems," said Sharga. "These are people living paycheck to paycheck and, when the paycheck is gone, suddenly they can't afford to make their mortgage payments." ...

But, mostly, it's still the damn Sand States:

The national report also found that the worst of the foreclosures were centralized in a handful of worst-hit states. California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and Illinois accounted for nearly 60% of the total foreclosure activity in the first quarter, with 479,516 properties received foreclosure filings in those states.

So, if nearly 60% of the newly foreclosed homes Q1-2009 are still in the four sand states, where home prices and Loan to Value ratios were higher, then those states must account for the huge majority of the defaulted dollars.

What was it about the Sand States that set them on the path to bring down the national economy? All that sand?

Nobody seems to want to know.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


CK said...

Maybe it's the states where people like to move to retire. Maybe this pushed the prices up for the local population who had a hard time to catch up, and had to take bigger mortgages. Bigger mortgages than they could afford also meant more sub-prime. Also, somebody should study the effect of the retirees since they may easily leave if they start not to like the place.

ricpic said...

OT: Congratulations on being interviewed regarding the Ricci case on the Lars Larson show. Good job of getting the facts out to a general audience.

Anonymous said...

Immigration, pure and simple. I work in the field, and if you overlay a map with the greatest concentrations of new arrivals, both legal and illegal, you'd be astonished at the perfection of the fit. Some of these recent articles are quite specific in the location of the foreclosure problem, getting down to county, city and neighborhood. 9 times out of 10 if you walked those neighborhoods, I'd bet it wouldn't take you long to affirm what Steve's been saying for years. NAM's are the primary cause for this bust.

David said...

It was the sand.

I have in my hand a study from a social psychologist, showing that sandglitter and its associated microdust affects the emotion gland, making people less able to concentrate and therefore less able to...where was I going with this?

Anyway, they're not responsible, and the disparity in foreclosures is an unfairness (racism? sexism? something?) that must be redressed.

Stop discriminating against the sand-disabled!

(Don't really have a study. But might as well have.)

eh said...

NAM's are the primary cause for this bust.Before all data is in and the analysis done, it's best to be careful when making definitive statements like this. However, I think it is pretty safe to say the data will show that 1) NAMs benefited disproportionately from loose lending (as they were meant to, i.e. if you listen to Bush's 2002 speech, so no surprise here), and 2) they have defaulted disproportionately too. How big the disproportionality is, and to what degree it contributed to the financial meltdown is, imo, tbd.

Anonymous said...

It has been posted on this blog before that California wouldn't ever get its act together again. That is correct. California is never going to actually balance their own state budget again. The Golden State is going to be a chronic bailout recipient much like the entire region of southern Italy requires constant massive fund transfers from northern Italy in order to function at a First World level.

Think a permanent intravenous drip of tax dollars can't be transferred to Sacramento from Washington DC? That it would be unconstitutional? Please. It will be an elaborate backdoor camouflage Federal Reserve scheme that is slowly and eventually institutionalized.

Anonymous said...

Aliens with little attachment to the country took Uncle Sam for a ride after the pandering president Bush demanded Uncle Sam's wallet be opened to them.


And while Liberal John & Jane Citizen are home thinking about how cruel it was of the lenders to get immigrants into a homes they couldn't afford, the "victim" has already torn out every fixture in the house and even removed the walkway stones. Some used stolen identities, some used fictional identities, some simply fled back to their home countries, and some are lining up for the next gov mortgage plan.

Liberal John & Jane Citizen desperately wanted a Third World society right here in America in order to demonstrate their own high status to other liberals and now they've got it.

anony-mouse said...

Anybody know of an existing or soon to IPO ETF of banks in the more solvent 46 states? Or a large bank with negligible presence in the insolvent 4?

(or maybe a fire insurance company that overwhelmingly serves small towns?)

Ronduck said...

California is never going to actually balance their own state budget again.

Then California should do what other Latin American countries do when they tire of their debts: default. Argentina defaults at least once every ten years, Mexico less often but still pretty frequently. Some Hispanic legislator will claim that the money was stolen from "the people" and refuse to pay it to evil greedy exploiters.

Remember, California and probably all of America are now part of the Catholic church's Latin American Empire of Failure.