Hawaii foreclosure rate climbs by 218%
State rises to 36th in foreclosure rank
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Hawaii's foreclosure rate tripled in April, with a 218 percent increase over the year-earlier period.
The state climbed to 36th in a national foreclosure ranking last month, with 210 foreclosures filed, or one for every 2,381 households, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.
Local economists say it is too early to attribute the surge in foreclosures to fallout from the recent closures of Aloha Airlines and ATA.
"It's still a relatively small number, but that's 200-something people who lost their homes," said University of Hawaii economist Carl Bonham.
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Hawaii climbed to 36th in a national foreclosure ranking in April, as the foreclosure rate here more than tripled its year-ago rate.
The state reported a 218 percent increase in its foreclosure rate from April 2007 and a 75 percent increase from March, with 210 total foreclosures filed last month, or one for every 2,381 households, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.
"There's no good way to put a positive spin on those numbers," said University of Hawaii economist Carl Bonham. "It's still a relatively small number, but that's 200-something people who lost their homes. There's no particular reason to think things are going to get better in the next year."
It's premature to attribute the surge in local foreclosures to the fallout from the recent closures of Aloha Airlines and ATA, which shut down only a month ago, said Leroy Laney, a Hawaii Pacific University economist.
"It's definitely not part of the fallout," said Honolulu Board of Realtors research economist Harvey Shapiro, adding that foreclosures typically trail massive job losses by a minimum of three to six months.
But Bonham said that the jump in Hawaii's foreclosure rate could mean that residents are overextended because they can't keep up with the rising costs of food and gasoline -- as well as increased mortgage payments for those with adjustable-rate loans.
Hawaii reported 22 notices of defaults, 181 notices of trustee's sales and seven properties that were repossessed by banks.
Nationally, default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions were filed on 243,353 properties during the month, or one for every 519 households, a 4 percent increase from the preceding month and a nearly 65 percent increase from April 2007.
Nevada, California and Arizona posted the nation's highest rates, with one in every 146 Nevada households in foreclosure -- 3.6 times the national average.
While Hawaii's foreclosure rate has jumped, it remains low compared to the rest of the country, Bonham said.
"The sky's not falling, but it's getting a little cloudier," he added.
RealtyTrac didn't provide specific statistics by island, though Bonham said he suspects that most of the state's increase in foreclosures is occurring on the neighbor islands, where homes prices have plummeted and the number of second-home mainland buyers is higher than on Oahu.
* Total households per foreclosure Source: RealtyTrac
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