JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville is making real estate headlines again because it's one of the top cities in America with a big foreclosure problem.
Florida is actually the state with the most foreclosed homes.
However, a new report from RealtyTrac indicates this is partially because of some positive growth.
Foreclosures in Florida have to go through the courts because it's a judicial state, and that can be a very slow process. Because of the way Florida operates, lenders have been so backlogged with homes in foreclosure and now more are turning to auctions which experts say is a good thing.
It's something thousands of people in Florida dealt with in October, foreclosure. One in every 332 homes received some kind of foreclosure notice, but the situation is worse in Jacksonville, where a RealtyTrac report shows one in every 272 homes here had foreclosure filings last month. That's up 16.21 percent from September.
October pushed Florida to the number one state in the nation for most foreclosures. Jacksonville is now ranked at number four in the nation, up from number five in September.
"Florida is number one compared to all these other states but we also have the slowest system and we were one of the ones that ate the biggest piece of the pie," said Howard Flaschen, a licensed broker.
Realtor Howard Flaschen studies the real estate market and foreclosures day in and day out. He said in comparison to other parts of the state, Jacksonville isn't too bad and it's getting better.
"You know, year-to-year we've consistently improved the delinquency numbers for the last couple quarters have been the best in the last five to six years so this definitely is working its way through the system, the housing market is healing and you know a lot of the people think its going to improve dramatically over the next four or five years," said Flaschen.
Flaschen said Florida always ranks high in foreclosures because in our state, they have to go through a slow court system whereas other states clear their backlog much quicker.
"It's a bottleneck so we're still kind of dealing with all of the things that have come from the housing crash, and banks now are seeing that prices have increased quite a bit so they're a little more encouraged to take things to auction," said Flaschen.
Flaschen said there are a lot of investment firms buying up foreclosures and turning them into rental homes for income. He said it's a little more difficult for individuals to buy a house this way because the courthouse is competitive, you have to have cash and there's not many options for financing that way.
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