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Greater Cleveland tops list for highest rate of foreclosures in the nation

A nationwide list that shows foreclosure rates in the first quarter of the year are higher in the Cleveland metro area than anywhere else in the country.

CLEVELAND — It's a statistic that you don't want to lead. 

The Greater Cleveland metro area is now topping the nation in foreclosures. 

"In some ways, I think for folks that have seen what's happening in Cleveland, particularly during the housing crisis, it's not a huge surprise. We've got a city that where there's a lot of housing instability," says Michael Goldberg of Case Western Reserve University.

The new data comes from ATTOM, the parent company of RealtyTrac. In metro areas with a population of at least 200,000 people, Cleveland leads the way in foreclosures with one in every 535 housing units affected. Those who are struggling financially are being hit the hardest. 

"And so, yeah, there's not a lot of great options for folks that are facing or foreclosure or making that really difficult decision between, you know, paying their mortgage versus putting food on the table or filling up their car to get to work," Goldberg adds. He agrees with other experts who believe pandemic assistance programs coming to an end is affecting foreclosure rates.

Realtor Joe Zingales beleves more are on the way. "But it will not collapse the market, And it will not be, in my humble opinion, what it was like in 2009, 10, and 11," he says. 

Instead, the increase in foreclosures could help the housing market that has been plagued by supply issues coupled with record low interest rates. Even with rates rising, investors and buyers could be looking at a more normal market by the end of the year. 

"And I believe that by the end of the year, I think at, at that point, you'll start to see more foreclosures, short sales coming onto the market. The low inventory will start to balance itself out," Zingales predicts.

That's good news for those who are being priced out of the current market. 

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb has talked about foreclosure, specifically that he doesn't want to see homeowners losing proptery to outside investors. We reached out to his office for comment on the latest data, but have not yet received a response. 

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