The States With the Most Homes in Foreclosure

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5. Illinois
> 2012 foreclosure rate: 2.58% (tied for 4th highest)
> November, 2012 unemployment: 8.7% (8th highest)
> Home price change (2007Q2-2012Q2): -30.3% (7th largest decline)
> Processing period: 300 days

Illinois’ housing market was among the biggest losers during the recession, as home prices declined by more than 30% between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2012. However, Fiserv projects that home prices will rise by an annual average of 5.5% through 2017 — more than any other state. Illinois had one of the nation’s largest increases in foreclosure activity in 2012, at 32.6%, leading to one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates. This rate, however, may be inflated by one of the longest foreclosure processing periods in the U.S., at 300 days.

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4. Georgia
> 2012 foreclosure rate: 2.58% (tied for 4th highest)
> November, 2012 unemployment: 8.5% (9th highest)
> Home price change (2007Q2-2012Q2): -32.9% (5th largest decline)
> Processing period: 37 days

From mid-2011 to mid-2012, no state had a larger decline in home prices than Georgia, where prices fell by 12.3%. As of November, the state’s unemployment rate remained among the highest in the nation at 8.5%, despite declining by one percentage point over the preceding 12 months — faster than the national decrease of 0.8 percentage points during that time. Like the nation as a whole, foreclosures declined slightly in the state from 2011 to 2012. But despite a 4.2% decline in foreclosure activity and one of the nation’s fastest processing periods of 37 days, Georgia’s foreclosure rate remains among the highest in the nation.

3. Arizona
> 2012 foreclosure rate: 2.69%
> November, 2012 unemployment: 7.8% (17th highest)
> Home price change (2007Q2-2012Q2): -45.1% (2nd largest decline)
> Processing period: 90+ days

Over the 12 months ending in the second quarter of 2012, home prices in Arizona rose by 12.7% — by far the largest increase in the U.S. during that time. Additionally, foreclosure activity in the state fell by 32.9% — one of the largest decreases in the nation. Despite these improvements, home prices in mid-2012 remained 45.1% lower than they were five years before, the second-largest drop in the nation during that time, while the state’s foreclosure rate remained among the nation’s highest.

2. Nevada
> 2012 foreclosure rate: 2.70%
> November, 2012 unemployment: 10.8% (the highest)
> Home price change (2007Q2-2012Q2): -56.8% (the largest decline)
> Processing period: 116 days

According to RealtyTrac, Nevada had the highest annual foreclosure rate in the U.S. for five consecutive years until 2011. Last year, however, foreclosure activity in Nevada declined by 56.5% from the year before — more than any other state in the nation. Though the state still had the nation’s highest unemployment rate as of November of 10.8%, this represented a nation-leading 2.4 percentage point decline from the year before, when the unemployment rate was 13.2%. But these improvements have not helped home prices recover. After declining by 56.8% over the five years ending in mid-2012 — more than any other state — Fiserv projects home prices to fall another 5.3% through mid-2013, again leading the nation.

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1. Florida
> 2012 foreclosure rate: 3.11%
> November, 2012 unemployment: 8.1% (15th highest)
> Home price change (2007Q2-2012Q2): -43.8% (3rd largest decline)
> Processing period: 135 days

In 2012, one in every 32 homes in Florida was in foreclosure, the worst rate in the nation and well more than twice the national figure of one in every 72 homes. Despite generally declining across the nation, foreclosure activity rose by 53.5% in Florida last year — among the highest increases in the U.S. However, foreclosure activity last year of 279,230 filings on homes was still down more than 40% from 2010, when there were more than 485,000 filings. Additionally, Florida’s home prices rose by more than 3% last year, better than the 1.2% nationally. And with unemployment falling to 8.1% in November, 2012 from 10.1% the year before — one of the largest declines in the U.S. — more residents may be able to avoid foreclosure going forward.