By Jim Droz

RealtyTrac’s Midyear 2011 Metro foreclosure report shows that foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis in 178 out of the nation’s largest 211 metropolitan areas.

That’s the good news. Unfortunately for California, Nevada and Arizona, they just can’t let go of their stronghold on the top 10 list of having metros with the highest foreclosure rates. Florida is showing signs of improvement, however, with only one metro area in the top 20 — Cape Coral-Fort Myers at 12. Other metro’s on the top 20 foreclosure rate list were Boise City-Nampa, Idaho; Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.; Greeley, Colo.; and Salt Lake City.

“Foreclosure activity continued to slow in the first half of 2011, especially in the most foreclosure-saturated markets and in markets where the judicial foreclosure process is used,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “The 20 metro areas with the biggest year-over-year decreases in foreclosure activity were all in states with judicial foreclosure processes — New York, Maryland, Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Illinois.

“These dramatic decreases indicate the foreclosure pipeline continues to be clogged in many local markets across the country, sometimes by a glut of already-foreclosed properties that are not selling quickly, sometimes by a mountain of improperly filed foreclosures that are blocking the inflow of new foreclosure filings — and sometimes by

Las Vegas continues to be the headliner in terms of foreclosure rates, posting the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate with one out of every 19 housing units (5.36 percent) receiving a foreclosure notice during the first half of this year which works out to six times the national average.

Nineteen of the nation’s 20 most-populated metro areas had a year over year decrease in foreclosure activity in the first half of 2011 with Seattle being the only exception, showing almost a 10 percent increase from the year before.

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