Tags: home | foreclosure | rich | luxury

Home Foreclosures Among the Super-Rich Are Still Growing

By John Morgan   |   Friday, 13 Dec 2013 07:00 AM

America's true luxury homes, those high-end dwellings priced at $5 million or more, are continuing with their own private foreclosure meltdown despite an ebbing of the national foreclosure wave at other price levels.

RealtyTrac, an online marketer of distressed properties, reported overall U.S. foreclosures were down 23 percent for 2013 through October, but foreclosures in the $5 million-and-up value range actually rose 61 percent from 2012.

The top five markets for home foreclosures valued at $5 million or more, from largest to smallest, are Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif.; Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.; Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.; and the Metro New York City areas of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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"Any foreclosure properties in this type of ultra-luxury market usually get purchased very quickly since there is one thing all super rich buyers want — an outstanding deal on a real estate transaction, and in most cases foreclosures of this magnitude come with several million more dollars of built-in value," said Emmett Laffey, CEO of Laffey Fine Home International, a New York realty firm.

Perhaps demonstrating that the super-rich truly may not be like the rest of Americans (they are apparently more lawyered up), RealtyTrac said the delay in a foreclosure peak in the luxury market may be because those owners have had the resources to hold out against foreclosure longer than other owners.

The total number of ultra high-end U.S. homes with a foreclosure notice in 2013 is relatively small, but each of them represents a much bigger loss for lenders than a median-sized home does, RealtyTrac said.

In November alone, the number of new U.S. foreclosure filings — which includes default notices, auctions and bank repossessions — fell 15 percent to a total of 113,454 properties, CNNMoney reported.

That marked the biggest monthly decline since November 2010, and foreclosure filings are now at the lowest level since December 2006.

"[T]he depth and breadth of the decrease provides strong evidence that we are entering the ninth inning of this foreclosure crisis with the outcome all but guaranteed," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac,

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