Sunday, December 14, 2008

Northwest Florida Foreclosures

It took almost a year from when we first noticed it, but the Pensacola Newsletter at long last has published the astonishing news that home foreclosures are rising in Northwest Florida. Who'da thunk it?

Kris Wernowski reports the numbers:
Florida has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, and the problem steadily is getting worse.

Escambia County ranks 37th, and Santa Rosa County ranks 42nd among the state's 67 counties in percentage of foreclosures, according to, which collects national foreclosure data.

* * *

In Escambia County, 724 foreclosure suits were filed in 2005. In the first 11 months of this year, 2,248 were filed.

In Santa Rosa County, 292 suits were filed in 2005. Through November of this year, 1,332 had been filed.

Rick Harper, the economist from Rosecoloredglassesland, reads those numbers and tells Wernoski, so she says, "Northwest Florida was somewhat insulated because the local economy is less dependent on tourism, and the buying frenzy of investors never completely materialized here."

Whaaat? Hard to say what planet Harper is living on, but we love him just the same. He always makes us feel soooo good.

As when he tells reporter Wernoski, "It's safe to say the pace of foreclosures will not abate for probably another 12 months."

Remember, this is the congenital optimist who confidently predicted there was no risk of a banking crisis -- just hours before the Bush administration announced a $700 billion bailout plan to keep the banks from failing. If he's says "12 months" it's a good bet foreclosures will be salting the earth for the rest of time.


Anonymous said...

More and more I hear the word DEPRESSION used by economists. It could get very ugly.

Anonymous said...

1. It's Wernowsky, as you can plainly see from the either the poor scan or the bogarted PDF you snagged from Newseum.

2. Kris is a man. We've checked.

3. This is hardly the first foreclosure story the PNJ - or anyone who hasn't been living in a cave - has had.