March survey shows 17% increase in foreclosure properties nationwide
“Our March data includes approximately 62,422 new properties in some stage of foreclosure – a 17 percent increase from February,” said Jim Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.

“While some of this increase can be attributed to new counties in our coverage area, foreclosures clearly increased from February to March. We’ll be watching the April numbers very carefully to see if this is the beginning of a trend, or a one-month aberration.”

Five states constituted more than 45 percent of all March foreclosures – Florida, Utah, Georgia, Texas and Colorado, according to the report. These five states have the largest number of foreclosures, with more than twice the national average. Florida and Texas alone made up one-third of national foreclosures in March.

For the second month in a row, Florida had the highest rate of foreclosures, more than two and a half times the national average. Nearly 17 percent of all March foreclosures took place in Florida.

Gee. Does that bode well for this insanity?
Plans for the world’s tallest condo tower are unveiled. Miami’s new landmark? A developer is proposing to build the world’s tallest condo tower — 1,200 feet and 110 stories high — on Biscayne Boulevard.

Doesn’t the building of mammoth new buildings typically mark the end of real estate peaks? Not to worry…. Never a better time to buy. I guess foreclosures, taxes, affordability and rental prices are completely meaningless as is the number of new condos being built in Florida.

For a saner look at the housing bubble, please consider this advice :
When old-time dirt guys sell ENTIRE portfolios they have taken a LIFETIME to build, it reminds me of the developers I used to arrange financing for in the late ’80s who told me, “Toby, when the amateurs are bidding on land I KNOW I can’t make money on, it’s time to pack it in … until the middle of the next DOWN cycle. You can reach me in Aspen or the beach if you need me.”

If you are convinced that there is still a lot of easy money to be made buying residential real estate in the hot zones of the U.S. these days … well, you have about six months to make it happen. The stupid money is now on the prowl to earn “up to $50,000 in just 90 days” and all it takes is a free digital camera — an “$80 value”– to get them in the door.

At the end of every trend the hucksters start telling everyone “how to do it”. When there is far, far more money to be made in telling people how to do it than in doing it, you know the end is near. Speculation and optimism and seminars and headlines are ALWAYS high at the end.

Out of the “goodness of their hearts” people are willing to tells us “how to do it” after this housing run up. The Washington Post, L.A. Times and San Francisco Chronicle have recently shown at least two full page ads for seminars claiming to be able to tell us how to make $50,000 in just 90 days in residential real estate. Is this the next “free lunch”? No sports fans, they are telling you how they did it because they NO LONGER CAN (if indeed they ever did in the first place). Perhaps in some areas it can still be done, but the odds of success when you are at the tail end of a mania seem rather small to me. Seriously, if you could make $50K in 90 days or $200,000 in a year would you be telling people about it or just doing it?

If you want to know where we are in this housing cycle, then take this chart and move the sentiment reading one notch closer to the top.

As you can plainly see, there is not much room left in the above chart before we flip over.

Mike Shedlock / Mish/