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Just how bad is the housing market?

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Degree of pain varies among metro areas
Further, national numbers tend to mask regional variations, which show that homeowners in some cities have suffered far more than homeowners in other cities have. That's the case because real estate markets are highly localized, says Rick Sharga, vice president of marketing at RealtyTrac in Irvine, Calif.

"Even in states with high foreclosure rates and real estate values falling through the floor, you are going to find pockets, neighborhoods, where things are fine," he says.

RealtyTrac recently ranked 100 metropolitan areas in terms of the percentage of households that entered some stage of foreclosure in 2007.

At the top of the list were six areas where 3 percent to 5 percent of the households had experienced foreclosure-related activity.

6 areas with high foreclosure activity
Detroit/Livonia/Dearborn, Mich. (4.9 percent).
Stockton, Calif. (4.8 percent).
Las Vegas/Paradise, Nev. (4.2 percent).
Riverside/San Bernardino, Calif. (3.8 percent).
Sacramento, Calif. (3.2 percent).
Cleveland/Lorain/Elyria/Mentor, Ohio (3 percent).

But at the bottom of the list were six smaller areas where less than 0.2 percent of the households experienced foreclosure-related activity in 2007.

6 areas with low foreclosure activity
Richmond, Va. (0.18 percent).
Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, Pa. (0.17 percent).
Honolulu (0.16 percent).
McAllen/Edinburg/Pharr, Texas (0.13 percent).
Syracuse, N.Y. (0.13 percent).
Greenville, S.C. (0.08 percent).

Loan delinquencies show dramatic regional variations as well. CoreLogic's data for November 2007 turned up six places where mortgage payments were at least 60 days late on 35 percent to 41 percent of subprime loans.

Delinquencies on 35 percent to 40 percent of subprimes
Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla. (41 percent).
Stockton, Lodi, Calif. (37 percent).
Merced, Calif. (36 percent).
Detroit (35 percent).
Modesto, Calif. (35 percent).
Naples, Fla. (35 percent).

But in six other places, mortgage payments were more than 60 days late on fewer than 9 percent of subprime loans.

Loan delinquencies on less than 9 percent of subprimes
Grand Junction, Colo. (9 percent).
Bismarck, N.D. (8.9 percent).
Provo-Orem, Utah (8.5 percent).
Odessa-Midland, Texas (8.3 percent).
Flagstaff, Ariz.-Utah (8.2 percent).
Corvallis, Ore. (6.6 percent).
Next: "If you wait until you are in trouble, it may be too late."
Page | 1 | 2 | 3 |
Calculator: Should you refinance?
Refinancing isn't a no-brainer
Selling in a sea of foreclosures
How to lower your property taxes
Forged signature puts kibosh on home sale
Will mortgage assumption solve crisis?

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