NEW YORK, N.Y. (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — confirmed that the national foreclosure rate in January was one foreclosure filing for every 466 U.S. households; the most severe problems continue in the west and in Florida. Unemployment, economic hardship, negative equity, and credit availability are driving the foreclosures.

Yet between the months of December 2009 and January 2010 a drop in the actual number of foreclosures was recorded. The latest data revealed:

Top States of Number of Foreclosures
CA -16.68% foreclosures
FL -11.95% foreclosures
MI +14.85% foreclosures
TX +15.85% foreclosures
GA +1.9% foreclosures

The biggest drop in the state foreclosure market was in Arkansas at -24.75%. Oklahoma had the highest increase in state foreclosures at 37.28%. But Nevada had the highest monthly foreclosure rate in the country with one in every 94 households receiving a notice. Arizona ranked second with one in every 132 households receiving a foreclosure notice, followed by Florida (one in every 158 households), Idaho (one in every 159 households) and California (one in every 165 households).

Rumblings from mortgage professionals expose that many homeowners are on the brink of foreclosure as their property values have fallen amid the housing market collapse, exacerbating the effort to refinance loans for mortgages with negative equity. And as unemployment continues to plague the nation, the available buyers are also fewer, compounding the problem.

Some cities are expectedly more severely affected than others by the unemployment situation and the negative equity situation. Data shows the number of foreclosures and the percent change from December’09 to January to be:

City and State Foreclosures Change
Las Vegas, NV 2437 4.01%
Denver, CO 2170 2.21%
Aurora, CO 1491 3.61%
Chicago, IL 1293 -5.75%
Phoenix, AZ 1222 -22.60%
Atlanta, GA 1117 -6.37%
Memphis, TN 1063 10.61%
Cleveland, OH 913 -7.30%
Houston, TX 865 11.90%
Columbus, OH 848 -0.58%
Detroit, MI 711 -2.33%
Miami, FL 571 -14.13%
San Antonio, TX 519 +12.09%
Los Angeles, CA 419 -12.34%

Two cities of note are Riverside, CA, which recorded a decrease of over 27% with 224 homes in foreclosure; a substantial drop in foreclosures, and Phoenix, AZ, which recorded a decrease of over 22% with 1,222 homes in foreclosure; also a substantial decrease in foreclosures.

The data also showed the average foreclosure price for homes in each US state:

Top States of Foreclosures
State January Change
CA $378,820 +0.81%
FL $226,060 -0.21%
MI $121,530 +3.8%
TX $138,102 -10.71%
GA $521,138 +43.23%

For those buyers ready to take advantage of the foreclosure market and reduced prices of homes, data shows the lowest average price and the highest average price of homes in foreclosure:

Lowest home price average
IN $72,467
OH $76,226
OK $76,657

Highest home price average
GA $746,400
MA $588,412
AK $560,642
DC $475,518
CA $381,870

Although some people may mention that the market may have shown signs of stabilizing, industry experts are cautious about the figures after only one month. Many people believe that 2010 will still be a challenging market and that the worst may not be behind the housing market until late 2011.

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