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Tampa Bay Foreclosures Fall to Lowest Level Since 2006

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the foreclosure crisis which has plagued the Tampa Bay area for about a decade seems to be coming to an end.

The percentage of homes in the greater Tampa Bay area that are still in foreclosure is now beginning to drop. Despite the decline, this area’s average is still higher than the national average, but it does show improvement compared to the last few years.

At the height of the crisis, so many homeowners were defaulting on their mortgages that the courts could not handle the case loads. Judges from other court districts had to be brought in to assist Tampa’s courts with the large volume of foreclosure cases. 

According to CoreLogic, this spring, only 2.7% of homes on the Tampa Bay real estate market were in foreclosure, down from 4% at the same time last year. New foreclosure case filings dropped down to 263 in Pinellas County and 280 in Hillsborough County,  When the foreclosure crisis was at its worst, the number of new foreclosure case filings was greater than four times what it is today.

What does this mean for people who are hoping to buy a home in the Tampa Bay area? Inventory in this city is already low, leading to an increase in prices as sellers capitalize on the opportunity. Now that this report shows there will not be a huge number of foreclosed homes hitting the market, buyers should be warned that there will probably be even a smaller number of available homes than initially expected.

The decline in foreclosed homes doesn’t only affect buyers who are looking to find their dream home, but also real estate investors. Real estate investors have seen great success in finding incredible deals on foreclosed homes and flipping them for a profit. In fact, flipping homes for a profit became so popular that Tampa Bay neared the top of the list of cities with the highest number of flipped properties in 2015. Now that the number of homes has decreased, investors will not be able to reap the rewards from bank-owned homes as much as they did in the past.

Tampa Bay isn’t the only area that has been experiencing this change. Sarasota and Manatee counties are also seeing a decrease in the number of foreclosed homes. In March, the percentage of homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties that were in foreclosure dropped to a low of 1.57%, down from 2.54% in spring of last year. The rate has been on a steady decline since the beginning of last year, but 1.57% marks a new low for the area that hasn’t been seen in years.

Buyers, there’s no need to give up hope on finding your dream home.  When you work with an experienced real estate agent, he or she will be able to guide you through the market and find you the perfect home, despite the fact that it’s a seller’s market in Tampa. Contact the real estate experts at Coast 2 Coast Realty for assistance in buying or selling your home!

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