Foreclosure problem still growing in Charleston

Image by flickr user respresImage by 20080720_foreclosure_home.jpg Some 867 homes are in the process of joining the already 11,000 homes on Charleston's market. Ouch.

Though the problem has lagged behind other states (like Florida and California) local foreclosure rates have shot up by some 59 percent over the last year. Some 871 foreclosure lawsuits were filed in the tri-county area from January through March (map).

Six months ago the problem seemed to be mainly hitting area residents in poorer areas but now foreclosures are striking on more affluent areas (like Kiawah).

The Post and Courier's Katy Stech did a good write-up on the problem today, here's an excerpt:
Foreclosures in the region hovered around recent records during the second quarter as lenders filed a total of 871 foreclosure lawsuits against property owners, an analysis by The Post and Courier has found.


home in foreclosure
Read more stories on this subject in our foreclosure topic page.There are about 11,000 homes for sale in the area, according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. Adding more foreclosed properties to the already swollen number of homes for sale in the area exacerbates the problem.

But Charleston lagged behind other states when the real estate boom hit, and now seems to be lagging behind in the foreclosure crisis. Now, that could either mean the worst is yet to come, or we may benefit from other's misfortune thanks to stiffer homeowner protection.

Sometimes it pays to be a little behind.

Update July 20: The Charleston Regional Business Journal adds that while the rest of the market has been sagging new apartments are stilling going up, to the tune of 1,632 new unit starts. All while the vacancy rate is at 9.6 percent, the highest it's been in 6 years.

What's was the saying about those who don't learn from history?