RealtyTrac’s Midyear 2012 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report shows foreclosure activity increased in 125 of the nation’s 212 metro areas with a population over 200,000 during the first half of the year. But despite the increases, 129 of the included cities still saw year-over-year declines in foreclosure activity. Brandon Moore, RealtyTrac’s CEO, said increasing foreclosure starts in many local markets helped push total activity higher during the first half of the year. According to Moore, increasing foreclosure starts will be welcome news for prospective buyers and real-estate brokers in local markets where low inventory has caused slower sales activity. California had seven of the 10 highest foreclosure rates and 10 of the top 20 during the first half of this year. Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado were also heavily represented among the top 20 foreclosure rates in the country. More here.