By Rudy Armstrong
Foreclosures reached their highest levels on record for the first quarter of 2009. Increased by 24%, an estimated 803,489 total foreclosure were filed by March of this year. This proves extremely problematic in an already trouble real estate market, where the plummeting prices of houses has placed many homeowners in dire straights. Coupled with mass lay-offs and pay cuts, unemployment leads to missed mortgage payments which only places people in danger of foreclosure.
Five states in particular were hit the hardest by the increase in foreclosure filing, with California, Florida, and Arizona leading the pack. California alone accounted for 29% of the total foreclosures, with 230,915 filed in the first quarter. With the fourth highest unemployment rate in the country, jobs are few and far between as the housing crisis continues to drag down the state’s economy.
Despite these setbacks, house repossession decreased in light of foreclosure increase. Falling 3% from February, banks tended not to repossess homes in financial danger. Similarly, with a positive look to the future, building is on the rise. With the housing market picking up, builder confidence made its most dramatic increase this April, the largest rise in the past seven years.