Tampa Home Auctions Continue to Soar with Increased Filings- By: John Cutts

Description : Tampa home auctions are expected to continue to surge in the coming months because of increased foreclosure postings in February. Unemployment and declining property values are still pushing homeowners into default.

The number of pre foreclosures in Tampa Bay, including completed foreclosures, climbed up to a total of 6,681 postings in February, an increase of 10 percent from filings in January and a jump of 15 percent year-over-year.

The still rising number of foreclosed homes in Tampa Bay has been following the statewide foreclosure trend, which showed a 15-percent month-over-month increase and a 16 percent increase year-over-year to a total of 54,032 filings in February.

In the Tampa Bay area, the highest level of foreclosure activity occurred in Sarasota County, where foreclosures soared year-over-year by over 39 percent to one foreclosure for every 183 households in February. The rate remained flat compared to the previous month.

Next to Sarasota was Hillsborough County, where almost 3,800 homes were hit with foreclosure postings or one foreclosure posting for every 138 households, a jump of almost 30 percent from the preceding month and also a jump of 30.5 percent year-over-year. Hillsborough ranked eighth in Florida based on foreclosure pace.

With 497 foreclosure filings and a month-over-month increase of 29 percent, Hernando County ranked 13th in Florida.

The least increases in the Bay Area occurred in Pinellas and Polk, where year-over-year foreclosure increases were only about 10 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Compared to January, however, foreclosure activity in Pinellas slowed by almost 21 percent while it still surged by 3.4 percent in Polk.

The two Bay Area counties that contributed the least to Tampa home auctions were Manatee and Pasco, where foreclosure activity slowed substantially compared to February 2009. Manatee posted a year-over-year decrease of over 37 percent and a month-over-month decrease of 16 percent. Pasco posted a year-over-year decrease of almost 16 percent, but its rate marked over 15 percent of increase from the January filings.

According to the researchers, the sharp decline in foreclosure rates in several areas does not mean that the foreclosure crisis is over in these areas. The decline could mean that lenders are deliberately delaying their foreclosure actions to limit their monthly foreclosures to a certain level or lenders are complying with the federal loan modification programs.

They also said that Tampa home auctions will continue to get loaded with properties because of the still double-digit increases in foreclosure filings.

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