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Home Foreclosures in Miami Slowed as Short Sales Surged

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Home foreclosures in Miami slowed in February this year as more short sales in the area were completed by lenders, based on data from a South Florida-based real estate consultant and condo specialist.

According to analysts, mortgage lenders are finally realizing that short sales are more favorable to them than foreclosures for which they spend an average of about $40,000 to $80,000 per distressed mortgage.

The number of foreclosure filings in Miami-Dade County dropped to 1,670 filings in February, a sharp 30-percent plunge from 2,376 filings in February last year and the biggest drop experienced by any of the three counties in South Florida. However, compared to the previous month when about 1,400 postings were counted, the February figure marked an increase.

In Palm Beach County, foreclosure postings decreased to 1,822, down by 24 percent from 2,413 filings in February last year and down by about 13 percent from over 2,100 filings in January.

In Broward County, where the smallest decrease rate was experienced, foreclosure postings in February totaled to 3,188, down by only 7 percent from 3,411 filings in February last year. However, compared to January when 2,250 postings were counted, the February filings marked a sharp increase of 41.7 percent.

Among the three counties, the pace of home foreclosures in Miami was the slowest and the fastest in rate of decrease.

From January to February, overall Florida home foreclosures also marked a decrease from the same two-month period in 2009. A total of 12,426 filings were counted, a significant decrease from the same two-month period in 2009.

Analysts said that if South Florida properties continue their declining trend in entering lists of foreclosure homes, the estimated total foreclosure filings for 2010 would be 77,000, a sharp 21-percent plunge from about 97,000 distressed filings in 2009.

Aside from the persistent foreclosure factor, which is unemployment, certain legislative efforts and court actions in the state may affect the flow of foreclosures. Condo associations have sued lenders to complete their foreclosure filings and some groups have lobbied for nonjudicial foreclosures in the state. The Supreme Court has also asked for 90 new judges to address the backlog in foreclosure cases.

Housing advocates hope that the slowing pace of home foreclosures in Miami would continue in the coming months, although they are still concerned about the default pace in South Florida, which is still around 239 default filings per day.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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