Rising foreclosures last year degraded Honolulu’s position in a ranking of U.S. metropolitan areas by number of home repossessions.
One out of every 61 homes in the city and county of Honolulu was in some stage of repossession, according to the study by real estate research firm RealtyTrac.
Honolulu, which for the ranking’s purposes encompasses all of Oahu, slipped into the middle of the pack for property foreclosure rates at No. 101 out of 206 metro areas.
That means 100 other places had worse foreclosure rates.
Still, Honolulu’s position has become rather dim, considering that two years ago the city had close to the nation’s lowest foreclosure rate.
In 2009, Honolulu’s position was 127 out of 203. A year before that, Honolulu was in the very enviable position of 198. The rankings are based on the percentage of homes in a market that were in some stage of foreclosure during the year.
There were 5,561 properties in Honolulu under foreclosure, or 1.65 percent of all homes. The percentage was about equal with Spartanburg, S.C., and Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.
The worst area was Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., where 10.9 percent of homes — or one out of every nine homes — was in foreclosure. The best area was Utica-Rome, N.Y., where 0.04 percent — or one out of every 2,268 homes — was in foreclosure.
The average for all 206 metro markets was a bit worse than Honolulu’s rate, at 2.2 percent, representing one out of every 45 homes.
RealtyTrac’s list included metro areas with populations of at least 200,000. But because RealtyTrac includes commercial property and other nonresidential property in its count of foreclosures, the report might inflate Honolulu’s rate. That’s because Honolulu, being a tourist destination, had a sizable number of condominium-hotels and time-share units that faced foreclosure, which would not be the case in many other cities.
RealtyTrac counted all properties with at least one foreclosure filing during the year. Filings include default notices, trustee sale notices and lender repossessions.
Honolulu was one of 149 metro areas where foreclosure rates increased.
One bright spot in the report nationally was a decline in 19 of the 20 markets with the highest foreclosure rates.
"Foreclosure floodwaters receded somewhat in 2010 in the nation’s hardest-hit housing markets," said James Saccacio, RealtyTrac chief executive officer.
Still, Saccacio said the level of foreclosures in those markets remains troubling, as they are five to 10 times higher than historic norms.
LOSING THEIR HOME
The 2010 property foreclosure tally among the biggest 206 U.S. metropolitan areas: