/ Modified jun 13, 2012 2:51 p.m.

Home Foreclosures Spike in May

Arizona ranks second in nation in residential real estate distress

Arizona's home foreclosure rate spiked in May, rising 23.6 percent from April with one in every 305 residential properties facing a foreclosure filing, a foreclosure market report said Thursday.

That ranked the state second behind Georgia, which registered a filing against one in every 300 residential properties, according to the report from RealtyTrac of Irvine, Calif. Arizona has ranked among the three worst states for foreclosure filings almost consistently since the housing crisis began in 2008.

RealtyTrac reported 9,330 Arizona foreclosure filings in May. A filing is defined as a default notice, a scheduled auction or a bank repossession, meaning that the total number could reflect a second or third action on one property and not necessarily a new property foreclosure.

The April report for Arizona was the lowest in 53 months, so May represented somewhat of a setback. Despite that, the May figure was 28.9 percent below what it was in May 2011.

The report also ranked the nation's top 20 metro areas for foreclosure filings, with Phoenix third worst at one in every 245 homes. Ahead of Phoenix were Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., at one in every 179, and Atlanta at one in every 224.

The national foreclosure rate was one in every 639 homes, up 9.1 percent from April and down 4.2 percent from May 2011, RealtyTrac reported.

“U.S. foreclosure activity has now decreased on a year-over-basis for 20 straight months including May, but the jump in May foreclosure starts shows that it’s going to be a bumpy ride down to the bottom of this foreclosure cycle,” said Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac, in a company press release.

To see the full RealtyTrac report, click here, or for Arizona's report, use the map above.

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