Home Foreclosure Rate Surged in 2007

Home foreclosures rose dramatically in the nation's largest metropolitan areas last year. Cities in California, Ohio, Florida and Michigan posted among the highest rates in the U.S., according to real estate data firm RealtyTrac.

Detroit had the highest foreclosure rate among the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas. The region was hit hard last year by a slumping housing market and a high unemployment rate. Nearly 5 percent of Detroit homes were in some stage of foreclosure last year — 4.8 times the national average.

Stockton, Calif., had the second-highest foreclosure rate, with 4.87 percent of its households entering some stage of foreclosure during the year. Las Vegas came in third, with a foreclosure rate of 4.2 percent.

Home values in California more than tripled since 1995, but home prices began falling last year and lenders demanded higher down payments from buyers. The Riverside-San Bernardino metro area, east of Los Angeles, was fourth on the list with a 3.8 percent foreclosure rate.

Ohio had four areas among the top 20.

California-based RealtyTrac arrived at the figures by comparing the number of households in a metro area with the number of foreclosure filings.

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