Although the recovery of the American property market is undeniably underway, repossessions, or ‘foreclosures’ in the local term, are still a continuing problem.
Nowhere is this more evident than in investor favourite hotspot Florida, where new data from RealtyTrac shows just how big the problem continues to be.
85,671 Florida properties were under repossession orders in the first quarter of 2013, the biggest number of any American state and numbering almost 1% of the total housing stock.
The figure is almost three times the national average of one in every 296 housing units and represents an increase of 7% from the previous quarter, and a 17% rise year on year.
Other states with increased foreclosure figures include Nevada (although first quarter foreclosure activity was down 18% from a year ago), Illinois, Arizona and Washington.
However, the RealtyTrac report goes on to show that bank repossessions of US property are actually decreasing overall. The latest report shows that moves were put forward on 152,500 US properties in March, which is a decrease of 1% from February and a dramatic 23% fall year-on-year.
In fact, the figures for the country as a whole now stand at their lowest levels since 2007.
Lenders repossessed 43,597 properties across the nation in March, which is the lowest since September 2007. US bank repossessions in March fell by 3% from February and were at a level 21% lower than at the same time a year previously.
“Although the overall national foreclosure trend continues to head lower, late-blooming foreclosures are bolting higher in some local markets where aggressive foreclosure prevention efforts in previous years are wearing off,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, commented.
The volatility of the US property market taken with the continuing shifts in the values of sterling against the dollar means it is important for anyone investing in American property to get a good exchange rate.
For those looking to send money to USA from UK, it is worth bearing in mind that the rates offered by the banks are often worse than those available through a specialist currency exchange firm.