South Florida in top 20 for foreclosure deals

Article Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post

By Kimberly Miller

Published February 1, 2013


South Florida ranked 12th nationally in a new report measuring the best places to buy a foreclosure, partly because a hefty backlog of nearly 105,000 distressed homes could hit the tri-county market in the coming year.


The report, released today, is the first from the Irvine, Calif.-based company RealtyTrac to rank metropolitan areas by how attractive they are for purchasing a foreclosure. Of the regions in the top 20, six are in Florida, including the Palm Bay/Melbourne area, which is in first place nationally.

Regions were ranked according to four measures: months’ supply of foreclosure inventory, percentage of overall sales that are foreclosures, foreclosure sales price, and percent change in foreclosure activity in 2012 from the previous year.


RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said the company wanted to identify places where there will be more foreclosures coming on the market because of the current lack of housing inventory nationwide.


“These are bright spots in the housing market where buyers will find more homes available,” Blomquist said.


Palm Beach County had a 5.9 months’ supply of single-family homes in December, according to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. There was a six-month supply of condominiums and townhomes. Traditionally, a 5.5 months’ supply is considered a balanced market.


According to the report, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties have a 29 months’ supply of homes in some stage of foreclosure but not yet listed for sale on the market. That equals 104,833 homes.


The average foreclosure sales price in South Florida last year was $129,941, a 30 percent discount from what homebuyers paid for a non-foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac.

Blomquist said an increase in sales of distressed homes could weaken sale prices, a drag on surrounding home values.


“However,” he added, “because of the strengthening demand that seems to be taking place in South Florida, we’re not in danger of seeing home prices crater again like we did in past years.”

Debbie Smith, broker/owner of Home Run Real Estate west of Lake Worth, specializes in selling bank-owned homes. She said foreclosures should be listed for sale in a measured fashion.

“Release of the inventory too fast will hurt the market,” Smith said.


Today’s report also ranked South Florida 5th among large metro areas nationally for overall foreclosure activity with a 36 percent increase from 2011. Nationwide, there was a 2.7 percent decrease in metro area foreclosure activity.

Best places to buy a foreclosure

1. Palm Bay/Melbourne, Fla.

2. Rochester, NY

3. Albany/Troy, NY

4. New York/Northern New Jersey

5. Lakeland, Fla.

6. Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla.

7. Jacksonville, Fla.

8. Poughkeepsie/Newburgh, NY

9. Orlando, Fla.

10. Chicago, Ill.

11. El Paso, TX

12. South Florida (Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties)