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Published: Wednesday, 6/13/2007

Home repos soar in month

FROM BLADE STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

Foreclosures nationally soared 90 percent last month from a year ago, and they doubled in metro Toledo, a national database firm said yesterday.

Ohio again finished with the third highest number of filings in the nation, RealtyTrac Inc., of Irvine, Calif., said. It reflected a poor spring housing market and indicates even higher levels are likely this year, the firm said.

In May, there were 176,137 notices of default, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions, the firm said. Ohio finished behind California and Florida for the most filings, at 13,214, up 150 percent from the same month last year.

In the four-county metro Toledo area, filings rose to 798 from 381 a year ago, RealtyTrac said.

The median price for a U.S. home slid 1.8 percent the first three months of 2007 as the housing slump entered its second year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

A jump in foreclosures at a time of year that traditionally is the busiest for home sales means the slide in prices probably isn't over, said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. Typically, more than half of all home sales occur in the April to June period, according to Freddie Mac, the No. 2 mortgage buyer.

"After a barely perceptible dip in April, foreclosure activity roared back with a vengeance in May," Mr. Saccacio said.

"Such strong activity in the midst of the typical spring buying season could foreshadow even higher foreclosure levels later in the year."

Ranked by the number of foreclosure filings, California topped the list, with 39,659 in May, and Florida was No. 2, with 21,704, RealtyTrac said.

Taking into account the number of homes, Nevada was the No. 1 state, with one filing for every 166 households. Ohio was fifth, with one for every 362 houses, and Michigan was eighth, with one per 448 households. Nationally, the rate was one for every 656 households.



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