In the past month, the Seattle area's foreclosure rate has soared to new heights - it's now higher than the national average. One out of every 476 homes has a foreclosure filing, compared with one in every 497 nationally, according to a new report by RealtyTrac, a foreclosure information firm.
The hike bumped the area's national ranking up to 62nd-highest out of 206 areas with more than 200,000 people. Last year, it ranked 84th. It's a long way from having the worst foreclosures in the nation, though. Here's some perspective on where Metropolitan Seattle sits compared to foreclosure filings in other areas:
- Washington State: one in every 565 homes
- King County: one in every 614 homes
- Pierce County: one in every 365 homes
- Snohomish County: one in every 361 homes
- Las Vegas: one in every 82 homes
Foreclosures in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties soared nearly 45.7 percent last month from January 2010, while they dropped 17.2 percent nationally during the same time period. Aubrey Cohen, at the SeattlePI.com, says it's because the local area is playing catch-up:
The Seattle area started its downturn about a year after most of the rest of the country, meaning it's only now experiencing a level of pain that's already passed elsewhere.
The spike in foreclosures pushed the state to the 12th highest rate among states and Washington, D.C. Last month it ranked 18th.