Headlines – Week of April 29, 2012

May 11, 2012

This week’s Headlines is all about the State of Florida.

To show how conflicting media stories can be, Florida recently ranked as one of the top five states for home appreciation at the same time capturing nine out of the top 10 slots on both foreclosures and delinquencies.

First, the good news.

CoreLogic reported their latest home price index (which includes distressed sales) and it shows a slight month-over-month nationwide increase of 0.6 percent in home prices from February to March. But some markets are seeing much more of a price boost this spring, including Florida, which ranked No. 5 overall for home price increases.

The company reported that this spring, the housing market was responding to an improving balance between real estate supply and demand, causing stabilization in house prices.

States with highest appreciation

According to CoreLogic, the following states had the highest appreciation in March (this includes distressed sales):

• Wyoming: +5.9%

• West Virginia: +5.3%

• Arizona: +5.1%

• North Dakota: +4.7%

• Florida: +4.5%

States with biggest depreciation Meanwhile, the states with the greatest depreciation, when also figuring in distressed sales, are:

• Delaware: -10.6%

• Illinois: -8.3%

• Alabama: -8%

• Georgia: -7.3%

• Nevada: -5.8%

Now for the bad news.

According to a national review of 366 metropolitan areas released yesterday by Foreclosure-Response.org, the greater Miami area led the nation in the percentage of homeowners that went through a foreclosure or who were more than 90 days behind on their mortgage payment.

Florida has been slow to get back on its feet because of a foreclosure process that, on average, takes more than two years to complete, according to the report.

Miami-Dade/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Beach had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate and the highest percentage of delinquent loans in December. The Miami metropolitan area had a foreclosure rate of 18.9 percent. Add to that the percentage of mortgages more than 90 days late and the figure jumps to 23.6 percent – nearly one in four mortgages. Florida cities captured nine out of the top 10 slots on both foreclosures and delinquencies for the month. Looking at just foreclosures, Florida held the top five spots, with Miami followed by Port St. Lucie (16.7 percent), Palm Coast (16.6 percent), Tampa (15.9 percent) and Orlando (15.6 percent.)

The story noted that lenders who halted foreclosure proceedings due to the robo-signing investigations are now resuming their efforts to get rid of troubled properties. Like other large cities, Florida’s metropolitan areas have seen a steady uptick in foreclosures over the past few years.

Another major factor contributing to the backlog in Florida is that a judge must be involved in foreclosure proceedings, a requirement that has slowed the foreclosure process in Florida and other states that require judicial review.

In Florida, the average foreclosure takes more than 800 days to complete. Recent attempts to remove judges from the equation have not garnered the legislative support needed to pass.

But wait … more good news.

An annual survey of CEOs conducted by Chief Executive Group finds that Florida is the second-best U.S. state for businesses. The same survey in 2011 ranked Florida third.

According to Chief Executive, the one-level boost in Florida’s ranking results from pro-business laws enacted since Rick Scott came into office, including business tax and regulatory reforms, a 2.1 percent unemployment drop and 140,000 private sector jobs.

Texas received points for the quality of its workforce that, according to Chief Executive, is second only to Utah.

North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Utah rounded out the top 10 states that are best for business. California landed at the bottom of the list.

The results are based on responses from 650 business leaders that graded states where they did business.

Posted by Scott R. Lodde

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