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Business Observer Monday, Aug. 3, 2009 13 years ago

Foreclosures still tarnish Gulf Coast

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Lee County is a leader yet again when it comes to a statistical reading of the housing market.

Lee County is a leader yet again when it comes to a statistical reading of the housing market.

The latest: The Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area had the second highest metro foreclosure rate in the country in the first half of 2009, according to RealityTrac's Midyear 2009 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report. The report states that 7.2% of properties in the area have gone into foreclosure — a whopping one in 14 properties that have received at least one foreclosure filing.

The region can take some solace, however, in its dismal ranking. For starters, it's inching its way out, as the first half of 2009 saw a 2.66% decrease in foreclosures from the latter half of 2008.

And it turns out misery really does love company: A trio of other Gulf Coast metro areas has joined the Cape Coral-Fort Myers region on the list of highest foreclosure rates in 2009. The Naples-Marco Island region, with 3.64%, ranked 12th; the Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice region, at 2.66% ranked 22nd; and the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, with 2.58%, ranked 23rd. In total, 12 Sunshine State metro areas were ranked in the 30 worst nationwide.

The Las Vegas metro area led the country with 7.45% of houses in foreclosure, RealityTrac reported. The nation as a whole has 1,528,364 foreclosures, equivalent to 1.19% of all housing.

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