South Florida, and the state as a whole, continues to log higher rates of foreclosure than the rest of the nation. According to a report from Attom Data Solutions, Florida saw the largest year-over-year increase in the number of active home loans that had entered the foreclosure process in July, with that figure 35 percent higher than in July 2017.
Rates of foreclosure starts increased in 44 percent of all U.S. metro areas, but often by much smaller amounts. The states with the next-highest rate of loans moving into foreclosure, Texas and Illinois, logged only a 7 percent annual increase.
Florida has been plagued with growing mortgage default rates since Hurricane Irma devastated portions of the state last year. That explains why Miami posted one of the highest spikes in foreclosure starts across large metro areas, logging a 29 percent increase. But in Jacksonville, the number of mortgages falling into foreclosure in July grew by 81 percent. The Cape Coral-Fort Meyers area saw a 59 percent increase in foreclosure starts as well.
The trend of foreclosure growth was not unique to Florida cities, however. Houston saw foreclosure starts rise by 76 percent compared to a year earlier, possibly due to the area’s own recovery from the 2017 hurricane season. But even Los Angeles (up 20 percent), San Francisco (up 10 percent) and Philadelphia (up 10 percent) saw large spikes in the number of seriously delinquent loans.
“The increase in foreclosure starts is not just a one-month anomaly in many local markets given that July represented the third consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in 33 metro areas,” Attom senior vice president Daren Blomquist said in the report. “Gradually loosening lending standards over the past few years have introduced a modicum of risk back into the housing market, and that additional risk is resulting in rising foreclosure starts in a diverse set of markets across the country.”