BRADENTON — Manatee and Sarasota counties continue to be a hot spot for foreclosure activity, according to nationwide figures released today, but numbers appear to be turning around.
The Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice area had the 34th highest rate of foreclosure activity in May among 203 metropolitan areas studied by RealtyTrac.
One in every 252 homes in Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice received some type of foreclosure filing — a notice of default, scheduled auction or bank repossession — in May.
However, the recent local metropolitan area figures are an improvement as foreclosure activity decreased nearly 21 percent since April, and dropped about 6.5 percent from May 2009. Foreclosure activity in just Manatee dropped nearly 42 percent in May from April. In Manatee, 606 properties received some type of foreclosure filing in May. Manatee ranks 37th in the state for foreclosure activity.
Nationwide, foreclosure filings were reported on 322,920 properties in May, a 3 percent decrease from April and an increase of about 1 percent from May 2009.
“We believe what’s happening is we’re seeing a big increase in the REOs (real-estate owned properties) because banks are starting to work through the backlog of inventory that’s built up over the last few years,” said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac spokesperson.
Sarasota County, which had 949 properties with foreclosure filings in May, saw a 2 percent increase from April and ranks 27th in the state.
Florida saw a nearly 14 percent decrease in foreclosure activity compared to May 2009, however, the Sunshine State ranks third in the nation for foreclosures.
Blomquist said the driver of Florida’s decrease was that fewer properties received pending lawsuits that start the foreclosure process.
“The (pending lawsuits) were down 44 percent in Florida from a year ago,” Blomquist said. “It’s good news at least on the face of things that fewer properties are entering the foreclosure process.”
A total of 50,685 properties received a foreclosure filing in Florida last month, and the state made up 16 percent of the nation’s total, which was 322,920.
One in every 174 Florida properties received a foreclosure notice last month, according to RealtyTrac.
Florida ranks behind Nevada, which has the highest rate of foreclosures with one in every 79 homes getting a foreclosure notice, and No. 2 Arizona, where one in every 169 homes received a foreclosure notice in May.