There’s (obviously) been a lot of talk about foreclosures lately. From my perspective though, it seems as if the ratio of cited foreclosure sources to media reports and blog posts on foreclosures is approaching one. We all know that foreclosures are high, but it kinda makes you wonder who to believe when someone says that one area’s foreclosures are higher than another’s. Furthermore, it seems as if the referenced statistics are always a few months behind. Finally, I haven’t seen any data yet that has compared foreclosure numbers across the country on a community level.

Being a curious individual myself, I decided to run a quick query on our own database to find the foreclosure numbers across the country look like as of right now (3:32 PM PST). Before I reveal any of the data though, let me first go over some things you need to know before interpreting it.

  • We do have a couple million properties in our database representing the listings from most of the major metro areas across the United States. We don’t have everything though, so it’s entirely possible that there’s a city or community that should be somewhere in the rankings but isn’t.
  • In order to prevent rental listings in the MLS’s from skewing the results, I excluded all listings from the calculations that had prices below $5,000. It just helped me get a more accurate representation of the data was all.
  • I excluded all cities and communities that had less than 100 total listings.
  • We generally only carry active listings in our database. Depending on the MLS though, we sometimes carry pendings as well.
  • I didn’t exclude any property types from this, meaning that condos, land, detached homes, etc all got lumped together.
  • We have two methods that we use to determine whether or not a particular listing is a pre-foreclosure (short sale, notice of default file, etc) or foreclosure (bank or lender owned). First, we look at the data. A good deal of MLS’s give us data that tell us how the listing agent for each property wants to represent the property. In other words, when the agent ticks the “this is a short sale” box in their MLS software, we see that and correspondingly mark it as a pre-foreclosure or foreclosure. The second method we use to determine the (pre)foreclosure status of a listing is to have our systems examine the listing agent’s property description using a proprietary technology we developed. Our internal testing has found that our second method is about 99.5% accurate in identifying these (pre)foreclosures when compared to examining the descriptions manually.
  • This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive analysis of the data. It’s just something I thought was interesting to look at. Please don’t send me hate mail if your results differ.

All that said, here’s the top 20 ranking cities in the nation for distressed homes (again, both pre-foreclosures AND foreclosures) according to our data:

  1. East Salinas, CA has 88% of the 309 active MLS listings in either pre-foreclosure or foreclosure!
  2. North Las Vegas, NV has 87% of the 3,648 listings in either pre-foreclosure or foreclosure!
  3. El Mirage, AZ
  4. North Salinas, CA
  5. Panorama City, CA
  6. Tolleson, AZ
  7. Pacoima, CA
  8. Avondale, AZ
  9. Arleta, CA
  10. Palmdale, CA
  11. Reseda, CA
  12. South Monterey County, CA
  13. Canoga Park, CA
  14. Mission Hills San Fernando, CA
  15. Winnetka, CA
  16. Van Nuys – East, CA
  17. Santa Ana, CA
  18. Las Vegas, NV
  19. Sylmar, CA
  20. Lancaster, CA

Here’s the same list, except it’s broken down by communities:

  1. Springdale Falls in Snellville, GA with 99% of the active listings in either pre-foreclosure or foreclosure! Ouch!
  2. Meridian At Hughes Center in Las Vegas, NV
  3. Maricopa Meadows in Maricopa, AZ
  4. Es-68 in East Salinas, CA
  5. Country Place in Tolleson, AZ
  6. Johnson Ranch in Queen Creek, AZ
  7. Rancho El Dorado in Maricopa, AZ
  8. Sundance in Buckeye, AZ
  9. Northgate/Sherwood Gardens in North Salinas, CA
  10. Aliante in North Las Vegas, NV
  11. Maryvale Terrace in Phoenix, AZ
  12. Irnmtnrch in Las Vegas, NV
  13. Lake Elsinore North in Lake Elsinore, CA
  14. Romoland in Romoland, CA
  15. Silverado in Las Vegas, NV
  16. Moreno Valley in Moreno Valley, CA
  17. Lake Elsinore East in Lake Elsinore, CA
  18. Plum Canyon in Saugus, CA
  19. Palmdale in Palmdale, CA
  20. Colton in Colton, CA

You can download my spreadsheet if you want to look at the (pre)foreclosure numbers in depth. I only exported the top 200 cities and top 200 communities.

Some thoughts:

  • I looked into what was going on in Springdale Falls in Snellville, GA, and it seems like the builder for that area just completely collapsed. Most of the descriptions for the listings in that area read like “Bank Owned.  Reduced 47 lots available.”
  • As you could probably guess, the VAST majority of hard-hit cities and communities were in California. I thought that the data would be more spread out between California and Florida, but it doesn’t look that way.
  • It’s interesting to me that Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, the small city that Diverse Solutions is based in and that I call home, is #65 on the list of top cities.
  • Obama should have given his foreclosure speech in Vegas or somewhere like Bakersfield, CA (where 64% of the active listings are in a stage of pre-foreclosure) instead of Mesa, AZ where “only” 24% of listings are in a stage of pre-foreclosure.

Now that’s some interesting data.