Sun Belt States Top Foreclosure List

Cities in the  Sun Belt states of California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona topped Q1’09 mortgage foreclosure rankings, RealtyTrac said on Wednesday. The 26 metropolitan areas with the highest foreclosure activity rates were all located in those four hard-hit states, where property sales and home prices had soared during the housing-bubble.

From CNNMoney: Las Vegas had the highest rate of foreclosures of any city, with one in every 22 homes subject to a foreclosure filing 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.

Foreclosures have accelerated the deterioration in home prices, which S&P’s/Case-Shiller indexes put at about 30% since a mid-2006 peak.

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