Clark County had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation with one in 13 households receiving a filing in the first half of the year, according to RealtyTrac Inc.
U.S. foreclosure filings hit a record in the first half, a sign that job losses and falling property prices deepened the housing recession, according to RealtyTrac Inc.
Lee County, Florida, home to Fort Myers and Cape Coral, ranked second at one in 14. Three counties tied for third place at one in 15 households: Merced, California; Osceola, Florida; and Lyon, Nevada.
Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate in the first half, with one in every 16 households receiving a filing, RealtyTrac said. A total of 68,708 properties were affected, 61 percent more than in the first half of 2008.
More than 1.5 million properties received a default or auction notice or were seized by banks in the six months through June, the Irvine, California-based seller of default data said today in a statement. That’s a 15 percent increase from the year earlier. One in 84 U.S. households received a filing.
“People are losing their jobs, seeing their income go down and are underwater on their mortgage,” Richard Green, director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, said in an interview. “It’s a toxic combination.”
Home prices in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas dropped 18.1 percent in April from a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index. The unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent in June, the highest since 1983, bringing the total number of lost jobs to about 6.5 million since the recession started in December 2007, the Labor Department said.
Defaults by subprime borrowers with poor credit histories spurred the housing recession and spread to prime borrowers as home prices and sales declined. The Mortgage Bankers Association said May 28 that prime fixed-rate home loans to the most creditworthy borrowers accounted for 29 percent of new foreclosures in the first quarter, the biggest share of any type of loan.