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Tampa Home Foreclosures Pushed More into Negative Equity

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Tampa home foreclosures continued to pull down house prices and worsened the negative equity percentage in the final quarter of 2009, based on a report from a real estate information provider.

In the Tampa Bay counties of Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Pinellas, the median home sales price dropped by around 13 percent to $123,600. The month-over-month drop for the November-December was smaller at 0. 8 percent.

Because of the continued drop in home values, 46 percent of households occupying mortgaged single-family houses became underwater in the October-December quarter. The percentage though was an improvement over the third quarter percentage of almost 48 percent.

The sharp drops in home values and sharp rise in unemployment made every residential property in the area a possible home for sale as homeowners considered selling to avoid foreclosure. Almost 43 percent of houses sold in December in the Tampa area were sold at prices far below their mortgage amounts.

The Redington Beach neighborhood suffered the sharpest drop in property values, with home prices falling in the October-December quarter by 4.6 percent.

Similarly, another report on the Tampa-Saint Petersburg housing market said that almost 50 percent of all houses in the area were underwater in the October-December quarter, increasing the likelihood of more Tampa home foreclosures in the coming months.

A total of 332,968 households with mortgages or 49 percent of all mortgaged houses in the Tampa metro area were underwater in the final quarter of 2009, and another 28,182 households or more than 4 percent were slightly underwater.

Home foreclosures in Florida are also expected to surge again despite declining in January because of the high percentage of mortgages in underwater status. In the October-December quarter, 48 percent of all mortgaged homes throughout Florida had negative equity, the second highest percentage in the country, behind only Nevada which had 70 percent of its mortgages in underwater situation.

Florida also had the second largest number of underwater mortgage loans at 2.2 million, behind only California which had 2.4 million.

All three of these states had far worse negative equity situation compared to the national average negative-equity rate of 24 percent. A total of 11.3 million nationwide were underwater in the October-December quarter, a jump from the 10.7 million underwater mortgages or 23-percent rate in the previous quarter.

According to analysts, Tampa home foreclosures are expected to continue because negative equity has been a big factor in strategic defaults and pre-foreclosure activities.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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