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Nationwide foreclosure crisis eases, leaving Florida with most home auctions

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Orlando's foreclosure rate ranked third in the nation in 2014.

That's according to a report out Thursday. It shows that nationwide the crisis is easing, leaving Florida with more homes auctioned than any other state.

Florida was hard-hit by the crisis, and a lengthy foreclosure process is slowing the recovery.

But Daren Blomquist of RealtyTrac is optimistic about Orlando. He says the foreclosure rate is down 65 percent since the peak in 2009, and prices are up.

"The market has come to a point where it no longer sees foreclosures as a threat to the recovery. And so all the stakeholders in the market have regained confidence and are jumping back in, and so that's why you're seeing home prices coming up."

Blomquist also says banks are approving fewer short-sales, leaving underwater homeowners with few options. Thirty percent of homeowners in Orlando remain underwater.

Florida had the highest foreclosure rate in the United States, followed by New Jersey and Maryland.

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s work has been heard on NPR and seen in PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, among many other publications. She began her career at The Associated Press in Nashville, Tenn. Amy grew up in Florida and lives in Orlando with her 7-year-old daughter.