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Philadelphia, Allentown among best places to buy foreclosures

By , - Last modified: January 31, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Of the 20 best metropolitan areas to buy foreclosure properties, half are in Florida and New York, according to California-based foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc.

The Philadelphia and Allentown areas came in at No. 13 and No. 14 on the list, which scored all metro areas with a population of 500,000 or more.

RealtyTrac evaluated how many months of foreclosure supply each area had available, plus percentage of foreclosure sales, foreclosure discounts and percentage increase in foreclosure activity in 2012.

The best place to buy foreclosures in 2013 is the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville metro area in Florida, according to RealtyTrac.

That area has 34 months of inventory, foreclosures represent 24 percent of all sales, the average foreclosure discount is 28 percent and there was a 308 percent increase in 2012 activity compared to 2011.

The worst place to buy is the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro area in Texas, which has 12 months of inventory. Foreclosure sales account for 7 percent of all sales, the average discount if 21 percent and there was a 66 percent decrease in foreclosure activity last year.

RealtyTrac said 57 percent of the nation's 212 metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more experienced increased foreclosure activity in 2012. Activity decreased in 12 of the nation's 20 largest metro areas.

In Central Pennsylvania, the York-Hanover area had the highest foreclosure rate. It came in at No. 92 on RealtyTrac's list.

York-Hanover had 2,287 properties with a foreclosure filing in 2012, or 1.28 percent of housing units. Foreclosure activity was up 14.3 percent from 2011, but down 27.5 percent from 2010, according to RealtyTrac.

Lancaster County had 1,436 filings, or 0.71 percent of housing units. Activity was up 37 percent in 2012, but down 12.9 percent from 2010.

Harrisburg-Carlisle had 1,484 filings, or 0.62 percent of housing units. Foreclosures were up 9.4 percent in 2012, but down 7.5 percent from 2010.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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