Foreclosure Capital of the US: Detroit Area
It had the highest foreclosure rate among the nation's 100 largest metro areas for the year, according to RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine, Calif.
But unlike the two western metro areas, metro Detroit's foreclosure problem is a bit more intractable, said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
RealtyTrac defines metro Detroit as Wayne County.
"Most of the metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates were either cities like Stockton and Las Vegas, which experienced meteoric growth and unsustainable price appreciation over the past few years, or cities like Detroit, which are undergoing a more widespread economic downturn along with higher unemployment rates," Saccacio said.
RealtyTrac Inc., which tracks foreclosure filings across the country, reported that the Birmingham-Hoover metro area had a total of 3,069 foreclosure filings last year and 2,351 properties with filings.
Empty houses with long, weed-choked grass, court orders pasted in windows, streets littered with "for sale" signs -- these sights are becoming a familiar part of the landscape in Detroit, where people are losing their houses at the fastest rate in the nation. Rising unemployment, a sliding real-estate market and risky lending are the culprits behind the Motor City's surge in foreclosures, analysts say.
"It's the worst area in the country, in terms of the economy," says real-estate consultant John Tuccillo.