Recently, RealtyTrac, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, in its April U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, said that foreclosure filings were at 342,038 properties in the US during the month of April.  One in every 374 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in April, the highest monthly foreclosure rate posted since RealtyTrac began issuing it report in January 2005.

James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, said this April was slightly above the previous month, setting another record high.  Much of this activity is in the early stages of foreclosure, while bank repossessions, or REOs, were down to the lowest level since March 2008.  Mr. Saccacio suggested that this means the banks are beginning to initiate foreclosure on loans that had been delayed by legislative and industry moratoria.  It also means that later this year we can expect to see a spike in REOs as loans move through the foreclosure process in the next few months.

Unfortunately, Florida had a 37 percent month over month increase in foreclosure activity and this boosted the Florida foreclosure rate to the second highest among the states in April. One in every 135 Florida housing units received a foreclosure filing in April.  This is more than 2.7 times the national average.  The total Florida foreclosure activity is up 75 percent from April 2008.

Despite all the doom and gloom, this is definitely a buyer's market in Florida.  Mortgage rates are at record lows, for at least a generation, of as low as 4.75%.  There is the first time homebuyer tax credit of up to $8,000.  And there is a lot of housing available at very low prices.  The banks are lending to qualified buyers.  For first time homebuyers, there may never be a better time to buy the home that just two years ago seemed totally out of reach.