10 Worst Cities For Foreclosures in 2010

Last Updated Apr 26, 2011 4:57 PM EDT

It isn't the sort of list you'd want to be on - but having more foreclosures than anywhere else in the country, is a badge of something.

RealtyTrac published its latest list of foreclosure horrors, and these 10 cities (or metro areas) topped the list for most foreclosures in 2010:
  1. Las Vegas/Paradise, NV
  2. Cape Coral/Fort Meyers, FL
  3. Modesto, CA
  4. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, AZ
  5. Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Beach, FL
  6. Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, CA
  7. Stockton, CA
  8. Merced, CA
  9. Orlando/Kissimmee, FL
  10. Vallejo/Fairfield, CA
Take a look at RealtyTrac's chart below for the details. Las Vegas/Paradise, NV had one foreclosure filing for every 9 housing unit last year. Overall, nearly 11 percent of housing units in the Las Vegas/Paradise metro area received a foreclosure filing.

What does that say about what's going on in Las Vegas? Well, while you might think it's an amazing time to buy a home (what with all the inventory available), the lack of jobs, flat casino growth (Las Vegas gambling revenue was $10.2 billion in 2009 and isn't expected to reach $12.5 billion until 2014), and dramatic slowing of population growth is simply a reflection of a very sick housing market.

I hear regularly from folks in Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Phoenix who tell me that they feel as though they're watching their home prices drop every time they step out the front door. And, they might be. The latest Case/Schiller housing index numbers showed home prices falling in most of the U.S. market at the end of last year. And whether you believe the index is a good housing indicator or not, a double dip in housing prices isn't good for homeowners, the neighborhoods in which they live or the economy at large.

Rate Rank

Metro Name

Properties with Filings

%Housing Units

1/every X Housing Unit

%Î" from 2009

%Î" from 2008

--

U.S. Total

2,871,891

2.23

45

1.67

23.23

1

Las Vegas-Paradise, NV

88,198

10.88

9

-7.02

31.20

2

Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL

30,660

8.40

12

-28.25

-25.29

3

Modesto, CA

12,844

7.34

14

-13.29

-13.70

4

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

124,720

7.27

14

-6.79

27.68

5

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL

171,704

7.08

14

-0.69

42.51

6

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

101,210

6.95

14

-19.91

-9.86

7

Stockton, CA

15,868

6.94

14

-18.79

-24.89

8

Merced, CA

5,801

6.93

14

-30.85

-30.03

9

Orlando-Kissimmee, FL

61,674

6.86

15

-14.51

31.66

10

Vallejo-Fairfield, CA

9,415

6.25

16

-12.03

-3.16

Here are some other factoids from the year-end report.

The 10 cities with the fewest foreclosures were:

  1. Lubbock, TX
  2. Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY
  3. Albany/Schenectady/Troy, NY
  4. Lincoln, NE
  5. Tuscaloosa, AL
  6. Syracuse, NY
  7. College Station/Bryan, TX
  8. Charleston, WV
  9. Burlington/South Burlington, VT
  10. Utica/Roma, NY

Metro Areas With the Most Bank Repossesions (REOS):

  • Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale: 55,372 REOs, up 17 percent from 2009
  • Chicago/Naperville/Joliet: 45,555 REOs, up nearly 20 percent from 2009
  • Detroit/Warren/Livonia: 43,541 REOs, up 19 percent from 2009
  • Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Beach: 42,630 REOs
  • Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta: 38,535 REOs
But here's the so-called "good" news:
"Foreclosure floodwaters receded somewhat in 2010 in the nation's hardest-hit housing markets," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a press release announcing the study results. "Even so, foreclosure levels remained five to 10 times higher than historic norms in most of those hard-hit markets, where deep faultlines of risk remain and could potentially trigger more waves of foreclosure activity in 2011 and beyond. Meanwhile foreclosures became more widespread in 2010 as high unemployment drove activity up in 72 percent of the nation's metro areas -- many of which were relatively insulated from the initial foreclosure tsunami."
How many foreclosures can you count from your front or back door? I've got 3 or 4 within about half a mile in any direction.

More on MoneyWatch:
Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com and The Equifax Personal Finance Blog, and is Chief Content Strategist at RealtyJoin.com, a community for real estate investors.
  • Ilyce Glink On Twitter»

    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally syndicated columnist, best-selling book author, and radio talk show host who also hosts "Expert Real Estate Tips," a Internet video show. She owns ThinkGlink.com as well as Think Glink Media, a privately held company that provides consulting, content and video services to companies and non-profit organizations.

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