A Storm of Foreclosures

The number of homes facing foreclosure more than doubled in a year.

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Going into 2008, many analysts said the housing crisis would get worse before it got better. Maybe this is what they meant: The research firm RealtyTrac reported today that the number of U.S. homes facing foreclosure soared 112 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with a year earlier—and jumped by 23 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007.

Nevada is the state hit the hardest—1 in every 54 households there has received a foreclosure notice. California, which has six of the 10 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates, is also suffering.

Is there any sign of the situation improving? The RealtyTrac report does note that in some places previously devastated by foreclosures, things may be turning around. For example, foreclosures have dropped 4 percent in Detroit in the first quarter, and home prices there are on the rise.