One way to track foreclosures is in number of new foreclosures filed, but that can be misleading. A really huge county with a lot of homes will of course have a larger number of foreclosures, but that isn't a fair comparison next to, say, a smaller county that had fewer homes to begin with.
So we use the number of foreclosure filings as a percentage of total homes in the area. For example, for the first four months of 2008, Florida had a rate 2.56%. That put us #3 in the nation, by the way, behind Arizona at #2 and Nevada at #1. California is behind Florida in the #4 spot.
Within Florida, Sarasota is at 2.58%, or 12th in the state of Florida. Want to guess where #1 was? Osceola County (the towns of Kissimmee-St Cloud).
In Sarasota, there was a headline in March that foreclosures were down, and that was true ... January saw 800 filings, February just 700. Then again, March was 1068, and April was 1300.
Is there good news in this? I'll spare you the (probably meaningless) analysis. I personally was glad to see that Sarasota was right at the average for Florida, and not way in front with many more foreclosures. And it's good not to be #1 or #2 in the nation in this particular case -- AZ and NV can have that disctinction. Beyond that emotional reaction, we don't have a crystal ball and don't believe that anyone else does either. We're going to keep our heads up, and keep making the best of it. Our business activity, is way up, by the way, since we stopped reading the newspaper on a daily basis -- it really is possible to live without a regular dose of gloom-and-doom. Go figure!