There is plenty of news in the national media about foreclosures. From everything that I have read, I suspect for every 100 foreclosures that have and will hit the real estate market during our current housing crisis, we have only seen 2 or 3. The bulk of the foreclosures have yet to hit the market.
The Tallahassee housing market is not impervious to the foreclosure epidemic that is sweeping the nation. We have been posting the monthly foreclosure updates on the Tallahassee Real Estate Web Site in order to keep an eye for trends. After doing so for a year, there are some early foreclosure trends appearing in Tallahassee.
Understanding Foreclosure Terminology
The first thing we must understand is that whenever there is a report on foreclosures, we need to know the source of the information as well as the publisher's definition of "foreclosure." Does this mean properties that have been sold at public auction (foreclosure sale), or is this merely any distressed property in which a lis pendens (law suit) has been initiated. From my vantage point, there really should be three separate categories of distressed property sales:
- Short Sales where no lis pendens was ever filed
- Short Sales where lis pendens was filed
- Foreclosure sales that occurred after title was taken from the defaulted owner
I suspect most national reports on foreclosures reflect items 2 and 3, but they are not also measuring short sales that occur after default but before the filing of a lis pendens.
Foreclosure Reports Are Misleading
So why does this matter? Because there were 66 foreclosure sales in Leon County last year, but there were 1,501 lis pendens filed on residential properties. A national report could show Tallahassee at 66 or at 1,501 (depending on whether the author was trying to show strength or weakness). So when we hear of the foreclosures in other markets, which ones are we being told about?
Distressed Loans In Tallahassee
You might think that certain areas in Tallahassee might be immune to foreclosures and distressed properties, but this is not the case. When all lis pendens filings are graphed by zip code, we see they are everywhere. While the 32303 zip code had the most filings, each area had quite a few as well:
Accurate Tallahassee Foreclosure Information
If you want to keep track on Tallahassee foreclosures, the best way it to go to the Foreclosure Review page on the Tallahassee Real Estate Web Site. It is updated each month and shows the properties that have had a new lis pendens filed that month.
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Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.