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Miami's Foreclosure Rate Surged Last Month Back to the Top of the Nation

The real estate market in Miami may be slowly recovering, but that's not good news for everyone. Foreclosures in the Miami metro area surged last month with one in 236 housing units in the market receiving a foreclosure notice. That's more than four times the national average.

The recent surge is likely thanks to banks that are eager to get those units off the books and out to auction to capitalize on rising home prices.

From Bloomberg News:

The jump was led by notices of auctions -- the step before a bank-owned property sale can occur in the state -- which rose 283 percent from a year earlier to 5,172 homes, according to the real estate data company.

The surge in auctions in states such as Florida, where courts oversee repossessions, reflects lenders pushing properties through foreclosure after years of judicial delays lengthened the process, said Daren Blomquist, vice president at Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac.

Homestead, Opa-locka and Hialeah saw some of the highest rates of foreclosure.

Local realtors are eager to get those homes back on the market too.

"We could handle another 4,000 to 5,000 units on the market," Ron Shuffield, president of Esslinger Wooten Maxwell Realtors in Miami, told Miami Today. "It would temper the increases in price."

Basically, because there are so many homes in the area tied up in foreclosure drama that aren't available for sale, prices of homes that are on the market are rising. And getting someone out of their home can be tricky business. In some cases the banks allow residents to stay in the homes as renters, but the market now demands that more homes be put on the market. Banks are now trying to speed up the foreclosure process.

In fact, home prices in the area in April were up 13 percent from where they were a year ago, a bigger increase than anywhere else in the east. Sure, it's still 43 percent down from the top of the bubble in 2006.

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