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Foreclosures hit record 990 in July


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POSTED: Thursday, August 13, 2009

A record 990 Hawaii homes were foreclosed upon in July, a 332 percent increase over a year ago, according to the RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

A year ago, a 169 percent increase in foreclosure filings from July 2007 pushed Hawaii's foreclosure rate up to No. 40 in the United States. Since then, Hawaii leapt to No. 15 by May 2009—its highest ranking since 2005—and it held that position last month.

“;Hawaii consistently has one of the top percentage increases within each state,”; Daren Blomquist, marketing communications manager for RealtyTrac, said yesterday.

With the densest population of all counties, Honolulu had the largest number of July foreclosures, at 542.

However, given the number of foreclosures per housing units, Maui County leads the state. The 180 foreclosures generated on the Valley Isle last month means one in every 361 housing units is affected by foreclosure activity. In Hawaii County it was one in every 394; for Kauai, one in every 411; and in Honolulu, one in every 618 homes.

For the entire state, one in every 512 housing units was in foreclosure in July. By comparison, Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate at one in every 56 units.

“;It is good to point out that in our numbers, we're not just looking at single-family homes, but all types of housing,”; Blomquist said. Multifamily dwellings can have numerous units hit with foreclosure notices, for instance.

Despite the gloomy foreclosure record, glimmers of hope have shone through recent economic reports, including one yesterday by the National Association of Realtors.

Second-quarter sales of existing homes were up over the first quarter in the majority of states and price declines increased affordability in most metro areas, the group said.

“;We've seen strong double-digit gains”; in 13 states including Hawaii (24.2 percent), said Lawrence Yun, the association's chief economist, in a statement.

Still, RealtyTrac's Blomquist described “;a sense in many areas that we're seeing a false bottom.”;

“;People have been snatching up properties ... at what they think are rock-bottom prices, but you may have this whole new wave of foreclosure inventory coming online that people aren't really taking into account as they make their purchase decisions,”; he said.

The biggest increase in Hawaii foreclosure activity in July was in those taken back by banks. Eventually those will be placed on the market “;so that's something to be on the lookout for. A huge increase in (so-called) REOs could mean another wave”; of homes hitting the market, Blomquist said.

LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS

Monthly foreclosures in Hawaii over the past year

2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

     

 

MonthTotal%change
July990+332.31%
June706+426.9%
May816+397.6%
April684+216.7%
March724+503.3%
February537+275.5%
January337+174.0%

 

       

2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
MonthTotal%change
December499+283.8%
November393+247.8%
October395+201.5%
September594+340.0%
August336+131.7%
July229+169.4%
June134+18.7%



Source: RealtyTrac