Foreclosures are Still Selling in Tampa

Conventional housing prices might be on the rise, but according to RealtyTrac’s Year-End 2013 U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report, foreclosed or distressed homes still account for more than one in four of all home sales.

One of the states where this definitely holds true is in Florida and more specifically in the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater area. In fact, Florida still leads the nation in foreclosures. In the Tampa area this means that about 30% of all homes for sale are priced 40% less than traditional properties.

Since the process to sell a foreclosed home in Florida also involves the court system, the selling process is delayed, which has become a growing concern among the lenders and banks who possess these homes, especially as the housing market recovers and the number of foreclosures in other parts of the country decreases.

The good new is that like most other cities in the U.S., the number of people facing foreclosure in the Tampa area has also declined. In fact, at the end of 2013, only 946 new foreclosure actions were filed in the region. While this may good news for some homeowners, it is also important to note that once you enter into the foreclosure process in Tampa, chances are the bank will still take your home, and schedule for it sale as soon as possible. Luckily, there is some help for homeowners facing foreclosure thanks to a state law that requires the bank to actually show mortgage note documentation and not just claim that they own the mortgage.

Regardless of these changes, foreclosure notices are on the rise in Tampa. According to a recent story in the Tampa Tribune, 1,671 foreclosure notices were filed in the Tampa area in December of 2013 alone, while 1,306 notices were filed in November. This is an increase of almost 365 more notices in just one month’s time.

It is believed that new monetary incentives are behind this trend. These incentives are encouraging banks to rid themselves of their foreclosures in other ways, such as at auctions.  With the added interest from large investors, the average prices of foreclosed homes have increased upwards of 10%. These investors are also willing to or are required to pay cash for the homes they purchase at auction, which is a huge motivator for banks to get their foreclosed home to market faster and recover lost monies.