The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro reported a total of 55,372 bank repossessions (REOs) in 2010, according to a report released today by RealtyTrac.
The hard-hit region led the nation in homes actually lost to foreclosure, and saw the numbers rise 17 percent from 2009.
However, a good deal of them were probably investment properties, given all the speculation in the area during the housing boom.
Bank repos will probably rise even more in 2011, as banks and mortgage lenders move forward with foreclosures, which had been put on hold for a number of reasons, most recently the robosigning scandal.
The Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metro area reported 45,555 REOs in 2010, making it the second worst metro area in terms of homes lost to foreclosure.
The area saw a near-20 percent increase from 2009, and was followed by the Detroit-Warren-Livonia metro area, which reported 43,541 REOs in 2010, an increase of 19 percent from 2009.
“Foreclosure floodwaters receded somewhat in 2010 in the nation’s hardest-hit housing markets,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, in a release.
“Even so, foreclosure levels remained five to 10 times higher than historic norms in most of those hard-hit markets, where deep faultlines of risk remain and could potentially trigger more waves of foreclosure activity in 2011 and beyond. Meanwhile foreclosures became more widespread in 2010 as high unemployment drove activity up in 72 percent of the nation’s metro areas — many of which were relatively insulated from the initial foreclosure tsunami.”
Last year, bank repossessions topped the one million mark and a record 2.9 million U.S. properties received a foreclosure notice.