Hot on the heels of Monday's sunny Florida Realtor report for 2012 that showed the Sunshine State's annual home sales had improved by more than eight percent, the other shoe, foreclosures, dropped and dropped hard Wednesday, according to RealtyTrac.
Florida, with about half of the population of California, has surpassed the Golden State in foreclosure activity reports RealtyTrac.
Manatee County, however, showed a 20 percent year-to-year decrease while Sarasota foreclosures edge up more than 3 percent in same period.
"Manatee County posted 1 out of 372, or a total of 463 foreclosures in January, 2013, a decrease, meaning an improvement, of 29.74 percent from a year ago's 659 foreclosures in the same month, said RealtyTrac spokesperson Ginny Walker.
In total, last month Manatee had 95 fewer foreclosures than its southern neighbor, and showed a stronger January year-to-year performance from 2012 to 2013.
"Sarasota County saw a 3.53 percent foreclosure increase from 539 in January of 2012 to 558 last month, which corresponds a ratio of 1 out of every 408 homes," said Walker.
Yet, both counties performed better than Florida as a whole, which Walker said experienced "1 out of 300 foreclosures last month representing a 20.24 percent increase from January 2012."
With one in every 223 housing units with a foreclosure filing in January, the Ocala metro area posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate in January among metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 200,000 or more.
Five other Florida metro areas documented foreclosure rates in the top 10: Mi
ami at No. 2 (one in 228 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Orlando at No. 3 (one in 241 housing units); Jacksonville at No. 8 (one in 301 housing units); Tampa at No. 9 (one in 307 housing units); and Lakeland at No. 10 (one in 332 housing units).