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October 30, 2014

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Las Vegas leads nation in foreclosures

Report shows one in 60 households faced foreclosure last month

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Las Vegas reclaimed the title as the foreclosure capital of the country in February, and the state set a record with its most-ever number of households in default on mortgage payments. That’s the first time since October that Las Vegas held the top ranking of cities with a population of 200,000 or more.

The city’s foreclosure rate of one filing for every 60 households was seven times the national average.

The number of default notices filed against homeowners who are delinquent in making mortgage payments rose 32 percent in February to 8,406. That’s compared with 6,064 notices in January and 4,367 in February 2008, according to RealtyTrac, a California firm that tracks foreclosures.

That is the highest amount in Nevada since the firm started tracking foreclosures in January 2005 and another ominous sign for the Las Vegas housing market. In January, foreclosure filings fell 4 percent from December, causing some to wonder whether the foreclosure crisis was slowing.

In Nevada, there were 15,783 foreclosure filings in February, a 9 percent increase over January when there were 14,444. The good news is that the actual number of foreclosed homes from January to February fell more than 1,000 to 2,817, but that may be more of a reflection of a moratorium on foreclosures by some lenders and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Nevada had one filing for every 70 households, which leads the nation. The state, which had held that top spot for more than two years, had its total increase 4 percent compared with January and 156 percent compared with February 2008.

Nationwide, foreclosure filings rose 6 percent from January to February and nearly 30 percent from February 2008.

RealtyTrac executives called the increase in foreclosure filings surprising because many of the foreclosure-prevention efforts in place in January were extended through February.

Las Vegas’ foreclosure woes are exacerbated by the condominium market and its overabundance that has dragged down the overall housing market, Sharga said.

Arizona ranked second in foreclosure filings with one filing for every 147 households, while California was third with one filing for every 165 households.

The Reno-Sparks area is in the top 10 at No. 8 in February with one filing for every 108 households.

For cities, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area was second in the nation with one filing for every 65 households. Six California cities were in the top 10. Phoenix was ninth.

Of the 15,783 foreclosure filings in Nevada in February, 13,100 were in Clark County or one filing for every 60 households. There were 7,258 notices of default filed in the county and 2,151 homes repossessed.

Despite thee stark numbers, Clark County wasn’t the worst in the state when it comes to foreclosure filings. Lyon County had one filing for every 30 households. There were 219 notices of default and 30 homes foreclosed in that county.

In third place was Nye County with one filing for every 92 households. That was followed by Washoe County with one filing for every 107 households.

Brian Wargo covers real estate and development for In Business Las Vegas and its sister publication, the Las Vegas Sun. He can be reached at 259-4011 or at [email protected].

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