More Nevada Homes Entering Foreclosure in March - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

More Nevada Homes Entering Foreclosure in March

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Analysts say the number of Nevada properties entering the foreclosure process has almost doubled compared with a year earlier.

Statistics released Thursday by RealtyTrac show nearly 2,200 homes received an initial notice of default in March, up 88% compared with the same time a year ago and marking an 18-month high.

But the state's overall foreclosure rate has changed little year-over-year, thanks to fewer repossessions. Nevada's foreclosure rate ranks first in the nation even after dropping about 3% from last March.

One in every 306 Nevada properties received some sort of foreclosure filing in March.

State legislation from last session made it nearly impossible for banks to foreclose on properties which brought the filings to a halt.

And while we often think of foreclosures leaving families on the street, realtors say this glut is more with homes sitting vacant.

"But the reality of it is that we have a very transient workforce in Reno. We always have. And a lot of people have had to leave for legitimate reasons - a death in the family or a move to another state or a job transfer, they've stopped paying their mortgages and what that's done is leave us with vacant houses all over town," says Marc Sykes.

Sykes says foreclosures are how the market can absorb the vacant homes and get them back on the market. He says empty homes are seen as a safety hazard and a problem.

Getting them back on the market, he says, is good for first time buyers and the community overall.

"We have less than 30 days supply of inventory for homes in the marketplace. Because of that, property values have been appreciating to some extent artificially. Property values have been appreciating somewhat artificially. And to the extent that we can increase the number of bank foreclosures here that will make it more possible for first time home buyers to buy."

Right now, legislators are considering a bill to adjust last session's bill limiting foreclosures saying the first one is too restrictive and hoping to strike a balance.

Meantime, officials do say this is another step that has to be taken to get us to the other side with an economic recovery.

Written by Erin Breen, and The Associated Press

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