Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011
MANATEE -- Fewer filings didn’t keep the Sarasota-Bradenton region from continuing to have one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates last year, according to data released today.
One in every 21 homes in the two-county region received a foreclosure filing in 2010, ranking Sarasota-Bradenton No. 19 among the 206 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, RealtyTrac said.
That’s despite foreclosure filings dropping by 10 percent from 2009, the Irvine, Calif.-based foreclosure tracking service said.
Still, the area’s ranking improved from 17th-worst in 2009 and 11th-highest the year before that.
“Those statistics indicate how critical it’s been for the last couple of years,” said 12th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Lee Haworth, whose circuit covers DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
“It’s been like a hurricane: When you think you get to the eye of the storm, you hope it’s over but wonder if you’re going to get hit by a new blast.”
As bad as it’s been here, the foreclosure storm was much worse elsewhere in Florida: The state had 10 of the 22 highest foreclosure rates last year, RealtyTrac said.
Fort Myers-Cape Coral was No. 2 nationally, behind only perennial leader Las Vegas. Other Florida metro areas with high rates include Miami-Fort Lauderdale (5th), Orlando-Kissimmee (9th), Daytona Beach (13th) and Naples (14th).
Sarasota-Bradenton was bunched with three other Florida metro areas: Port St. Lucie was 16th, followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg at No. 17 and Lakeland in 18th place.
Florida’s two major college towns -- Gainesville and Tallahassee -- fared best, at 72nd and 85th place, respectively.
California, Florida and Nevada accounted for all but one of the worst metros areas. The exception was Boise, Idaho, which snuck in at No. 20.
The worst 10 remained largely the same despite all seeing drops in foreclosure activity, RealtyTrac said.
“Foreclosure floodwaters receded somewhat in 2010 in the nation’s hardest-hit housing markets,” said James Saccacio, the company’s chief executive.
“Even so, foreclosure levels remained five to 10 times higher than historic norms in most of those hard-hit markets, where deep fault lines of risk remain and could potentially trigger more waves of foreclosure activity in 2011 and beyond.”
Foreclosures also became more widespread last year as job losses mounted, he said.
Duane Marsteller, Herald staff writer,