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Jacksonville Home Auctions to Surge as Default Rate Rises

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Jacksonville home auctions are expected to step up as mortgage defaults increase in the area, based on reports from credit information firm TransUnion LLC.

Over the past 3 years, pre foreclosures in Jacksonville have steadily increased and by the last month of 2009, the delinquency rate has reached 10.3 percent.

According to Florida short sale specialist Michael Linkenauger, the continuing increase in delinquencies is a result of the convergence of several negative factors in the housing market, including unemployment, costly loans, overdevelopment, price declines and the recession. The unemployment rate in Jacksonville has hit 11.3 percent.

Scott Lehmbeck, an REDC agent who specializes in foreclosed homes in Jacksonville, said that his sales have been improving because of the continued entry of distressed properties into the market.

Similarly, Dmitry Mikhaylov, who owns a real estate investment firm, said that he has restructured his business model to fit the current state of the housing market. He said his firm has stopped buying and selling new homes or nondistressed existing homes. He has shifted to buying homes at Jacksonville home auctions or from foreclosure listings, renovating these properties and reselling them.

Mikhaylov added that his firm has also helped some homeowners negotiate affordable repayment schemes with their lenders. But he has observed that more people are giving up than pursuing loan modifications because of unemployment and negative equity.

According to TransUnion, there are other Florida cities struggling from high default rates. Miami, for instance, had a delinquency rate of 22.6 percent in the final quarter of 2009, far above its 1.7 default rate during the same quarter in 2006. Statewide, the default rate increased to 14.93 percent in the final quarter, up from 1.73 percent in 2006.

Among the 28 largest metro areas surveyed, Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami posted the highest delinquency rates in the last months of 2009.

Mortgage delinquencies are not only occurring in the single-family subsector; they are also prevalent in apartment communities. In the last week of February, nonbank lending firm Leeward Strategic Properties filed foreclosure cases against four apartment communities in Jacksonville after the owner, National Commercial Ventures, failed to pay its $71.1-million outstanding loan. Additionally, National Commercial is also facing lien claims from subcontractors in its other projects.

According to commercial investment executive Simon Garwood, the number of multifamily and single-family properties entering Jacksonville home auctions continues to grow because of the weak economy and the high vacancy rate in the Jacksonville multifamily sector.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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