California Dominates National Foreclosure Scene. A Look at the Top 10 Foreclosure Cities.

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According to recent RealtyTrac numbers, California has been taking a major hit in terms of foreclosures. Several California Metro areas have dominated the top 10.

Stockton, CA – 8,169 filings, a 256 percent increase (1 foreclosure for every 27 households2) over the same period last year. 1

“Six California cities rank in the top 10 nationwide for foreclosure rates, according to RealtyTrac, with the top three spots — Stockton, Modesto and Merced — situated in the Central Valley, where longtime agricultural towns have turned into small residential cities.

California has the third-highest rate of foreclosures in the country, RealtyTrac says, behind Nevada and Colorado. In July, another real estate data firm, DataQuick, reported that the state had its highest level of foreclosure in two decades, with nearly 54,000 notices of default sent to delinquent homeowners in the second quarter of 2007.”3

Sacramento ranked fifth worst in the nation, according to the Realty Trac Report. One in 36 homes is foreclosed on, amounting to more than 20,500 filings in Sacramento. That’s a 241 percent increase from last year.” 4

Detroit and Las Vegas rank second and third respectively. Memphis (ninth) ranks in between the Bakersfield, California (eighth – 1 foreclosure for every 47 homes2) and Cleveland, Ohio (tenth) metro areas.”1

Other cities, including Denver and Miami, were also included in the top 10.

Richmond, Va. had the country’s least foreclosure activity.”2 “Other low foreclosure metro areas included Greenville, South Carolina (one in 1,721, down 66 percent), McAllen, Texas (one in 1,494, down 35 percent) and Honolulu (one in 1,151, up 68 percent).” 5

Foreclosure rates
Source: CNNMoney 5

Sources Cited:
1 Memphis Business Journal – Memphis among cities with highest foreclosure rates
2 The Bakersfield Californian – Bakersfield foreclosure rate climbs higher
3 New York Times – From Housing Haven to Foreclosure Leader
4 CBS13/CW31 – Stockton Worst In The Nation For Home Foreclosures
5 CNNMoney – California cities fill top 10 foreclosure list

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin (@jrdorkin, Google+) founded when he saw a need for free, trustworthy information about real estate investing online. Over the past 12 years, Josh has grown the site from self-funded hobby to full-time job and passion. Today, BiggerPockets brings together over 850,000 members, housing the world’s largest library of real estate content, iTunes’ #1 real estate podcast, and an array of analysis tools, all geared toward helping users succeed.


  1. The way I see it, here in Vegas (#3 in foreclosures) there are two foreclosure rates… SFR’s and High Rises… SFR’s are going fast to the auction block but high rises are a much lower rate per property. Our market is also much better than other cities like Miami where there are 40K high rise properties on the MLS!!! In Vegas there are less than 2K. Big difference. It’s doom and gloom for SFR but NOT for high rise in Vegas.
    -Jason Fox

  2. So many foreclosures are sad news indeed and I do feel sorry for the people who are losing their homes to this. However, so many times people are themselves responsible for putting themselves in such a messy situation. If you buy a house that costs way more than your present paying back capacity, this is definitely going to happen. However, the lenders are to blame as well as they need to follow better practices and give people more time instead of moving towards the foreclosures so quickly.

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