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A quick glance at 2012 monthly foreclosure filings in Ft. Lauderdale / Broward County

With all of the 2012 data in, let’s take a look at the monthly foreclosure filings in the Greater Fort Lauderdale/ Broward County housing market.

In summary, there were 15,983 new foreclosure filings just in Broward County, Florida.  Keep in mind, this is going on while everyone is talking about a housing recovery.  Meanwhile, there are still 46,555 existing foreclosures throughout Broward County.  In December 2012 alone, 779 single family homes and 285 condo/townhome property received a foreclosure notice. I think that is noticeably high given that at least a week of work was removed from the holiday-shortened month.  Here is a good look at the pattern throughout the year:

The only month with less than 1,000 new foreclosure filings in 2012 was the month of February.  Otherwise, new foreclosure filings remained over 1,000 new filings per month throughout the year.  If you are wondering which cities have the highest level of properties in foreclosure, take a look:

As of January 21, 2013, here are some of the cities with the highest level of foreclosures in Broward County, Florida:

  • Fort Lauderdale has 3,928 single family homes and 1,055 condo/townhouse properties in foreclosure
  • Miramar has 4,384 single family homes and 806 condo/townhouse properties in foreclosure
  • Hollywood has 3,172 single family homes and 1,006 condo/townhouse properties in foreclosure
  • Pembroke Pines has 3,854 single family homes and 830 condo/townhouse properties in foreclosure
  • Pompano has 2,072 single family homes and 1,013 condo/townhouse properties in foreclosure

These are just some of the highlights (or lowlights) of the chart.  If you are looking to buy a residential property in South Florida, it is important to know where all of the foreclosures are located.  As your real estate agent to review the neighborhoods that you are interested and see if they have high levels of properties in foreclosure.  Properties in foreclosure will eventually be sold as a short-sale or as a bank-owned REO property and will be sold at a discount of 20-30% of neighboring properties.  If you buy a property with only 10% down and your neighborhood comparables drop by 20-30%, then you are now an underwater borrower.

The reason that foreclosures will continue to plague the South Florida real estate market is that Florida is a judicial state and the average foreclosure takes about 853 days to process.  Most of the foreclosures in the chart of cities above have been in default since 2010 or earlier.  Floridians (and South Floridians in particular), have become experts at gaming the system and setting records for living in properties without making payments.  With the help of fruitless attempts at various federal modification propgrams, the robo-signing halt on foreclosures, and the emergence of “foreclosure defense” attorneys, South Florida has emerged as a squatter society.  The chart below from Corelogic shows where Florida ranks in the number of properties in foreclosure.  Once again, we are ranked first in all the wrong charts!  This one is a little fuzzy, so click on it for better clarity.

In our next few posts we will review the 2012 full-year data for Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County.  We will chart the monthly data and do a city-by-city tabulation of where all the foreclosures are located.  At first glance, it appears that 2013 will be a strong year for new foreclosure filings.  Now that the robo-signing and various bank litigation has been settled, all of the major lenders will be encouraging short sales and taking back properties through foreclosure proceedings when all else fails.