Rates stabilized in June, offering hope that the worst of the real estate crisis is over

(Source: Associated Press)

Even as Americans suffer rising unemployment, foreclosure rates in the three states hit hardest by the housing bust – California, Arizona and Florida – stabilized in June, offering hope that the worst of the real estate crisis is over.

In June, foreclosure rates held steady for Arizona, California and Florida at 4.1 per cent, 3.5 per cent and 3.4 per cent, respectively, according to RealtyTrac Inc., which maintains a nationwide database of foreclosures.

Still, RealtyTrac said more than 1.5 million households in the U.S. received at least one foreclosure-related notice in the first six months of this year.

“It’s obviously good news to stop the losses,” said Jim Diffley, a regional economist at consulting firm IHS Global Insight in New York. He cautioned that even as foreclosures level out in some states, they’re doing so “at very high levels.”The housing bust struck first in states such as California, Arizona and Florida, which had seen outsized price increases during the real estate boom.

Read the full article “Foreclosure rates: Past the peak” in the Globe and Mail (August 3, 2009).

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