Miami foreclosure investing is getting hotter as filings and listings continued to surge in the area.

In February, while other metro areas experienced declines in foreclosure filings and listings, the Miami metro area posted a sharp 44-percent increase from January. A total of 6,671 completed foreclosures and pre foreclosures in Miami were filed, representing one foreclosure for every 147 households in the area.

Currently, a total of 40,598 properties are in Miami foreclosure listings, much higher than foreclosure inventories in other metro areas.

Statewide, over 54,000 households were in default or foreclosure in February this year, marking an increase of 15 percent over January filings and a 17-percent increase from February 2009 filings. Of these filings, almost 7,000 units were already taken back by banks.

While other states experienced declines in their foreclosure activity, Florida posted a substantial increase in filings in February, making the state third in foreclosure rate and second only to California in number of filings.

As foreclosures continued to pull down home prices, the pace of Miami foreclosure investing continued to surge. Total home sales volume in February reached 1,550 homes as the median house sales price continued to fall to $155,000.

Despite the high listing prices for homes for sale in February, with an average asking price of $431,131, the finale sales prices plunged. Sales prices for homes have fallen by a staggering total of 27.9 percent from prices in December 2009. Other metro areas have also been experiencing significant price drops, but price drops in Miami have been among the biggest as price levels in the Miami metro area shot up during the boom.

The continued surge in foreclosures in Miami-Dade has prompted the county to launch its online public auctions recently. Despite complaints from novice investors who lost money from their purchases because of wrong assumptions and lack of research, the initial auctions were largely successful. They helped the county courts move a large number of their foreclosure cases.

Local real estate professionals said that the current mortgage rate of around 4.97 percent and the federal tax credits have been helping improve sales. But the soaring number of local and out-of-state investors, including foreign buyers, has been pushing increases in home sales. The online auctions have also put foreclosures in Miami available for easier online search nationwide.

For people considering Miami foreclosure investing, the nearly 41,000 foreclosure properties in listings in the metro area are a record number to choose from.

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