RealtyTrac (realtytrac.com), in its May 2009 US Foreclosure Market Report, showed that there were more than 321,000 foreclosure filings on US properties in May 2009.  The good news is that this is a 6% decrease from April 2009, but the bad news is that this was an 18% increase from May of 2008.  These figures mean that one in every 398 US households received a foreclosure filing in May.

James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, said "May foreclosure activity was the third highest month on record, and marked the third straight month where the total number of properties with foreclosure filings exceeded 300,000 - a first in the history of our report."  Mr. Saccacio said that he expects a spike in foreclosures in the coming months as foreclosure delays and moratoria that have been put in place by various state laws come to an end.

Florida had the third highest foreclosure rate in the nation at 1 in every 148 housing units.  Nevada again led the nation in foreclosures, with 1 in 64 housing units, more than 6 times the national average.  California was second, with 1 in every 144 housing units, although it had a 4 percent decrease from April.

In Florida, three cities were in the top ten for foreclosure:  Cape Coral-Fort Myers no. 6 in the nation at 1 in 82 housing units; Orlando-Kissimmee at no. 8 with 1 in 101; and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at no. 10 with 1 in 105. 

Although the Tampa Bay metro real estate market is not in the top ten for foreclosure activity, the prospects for a rapid recovery are no better than most of the rest of the state of Florida.

Foreclosures nationally, and especially in these metro areas and states will continue to hold down prices for sellers.  Various experts are predicting prices to continue to decline for the next year or two, then level off for another year or two before beginning a slow return to "normal".  This could mean that today is the highest price a seller can get for his/her home for the next 5-10 years.  It also means that this continues to be a buyer's market, as long as the banks will lend to qualified buyers.