Mapping foreclosures

RealtyTrac is out with its annual listing of the top 100 metro areas when it comes to foreclosures .  The top of the list doesn’t hold many surprises, but lower down is another matter.

Detroit comes in at #1.  Nearly one in every twenty homes there is in foreclosure now.  #2 is Stockton, California (which if memory serves was #1 last year).  And Vegas is #3.

“Most of the metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates were either
cities like Stockton and Las Vegas, which experienced meteoric growth
and unsustainable price appreciation over the past few years, or cities
like Detroit, which are undergoing a more widespread economic downturn
along with higher unemployment rates,” said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio.

And what holds true for the top 3 holds true for the the top 20; the list is dominated by Michigan, Ohio, California, and Florida.

It’s lower down the list where you find a few surprises.

Chicago, which had steady but never insane appreciation during the housing bubble, ranks #30 with 1.6% of homes in foreclosure.  But Buffalo, a perennial economic basket case, has a foreclosure rate barely a quarter of Chicago’s.  At #82, Buffalo ranks just behind Seattle (where I’ve heard housing prices might only now be starting to plateau) and San Francisco, the ultimate in unaffordability except for New York.

Not sure what the significance of all that is, but it’s fascinating to look at in a train-wreck sort of way…