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Foreclosures Account for 20 Percent of Residential Sales in Q3

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RealtyTrac®, a leading online marketplace for foreclosures, recently released its Q3 2011 U.S. Foreclosure Sales Report™, which shows that sales of homes that were in some stage of foreclosure or bank owned accounted for 20 percent of all U.S. residential sales in the third quarter of 2011, down from 22 percent of all sales in the second quarter and down from 30 percent of all sales in the third quarter of 2010.

Third parties purchased a total of 221,536 residential properties in some stage of foreclosure (NOD, LIS, NTS, NFS) or bank-owned (REO) during the third quarter, down 11 percent from a revised second quarter total and down 5 percent from the third quarter of 2010.

The average sales price of homes in foreclosure or bank owned was $165,322 in the third quarter, up 1 percent from the previous quarter but down 3 percent from the third quarter of 2010. The average sales price of these foreclosure-related sales was 34 percent below the average sales price of homes not in foreclosure, matching the 34 percent foreclosure discount in the second quarter but below the 37 percent discount in the third quarter of 2010.

“While foreclosures continue to represent an excellent bargain-buying opportunity for many buyers and investors, foreclosure sales accounted for a smaller share of the total market in the third quarter. That trend is not too surprising given the continued ambiguity surrounding proper foreclosure procedures—and the ripple effect that has on sales of foreclosed properties that might have been improperly foreclosed,” said Brandon Moore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “The sooner the market gets more clarity about accepted foreclosure procedures, primarily through the long-promised settlement between multiple states attorneys general and major lenders, the sooner the market can more efficiently dispose of these distressed properties.

“Even with the hurdles to selling foreclosures, foreclosure sales continue to represent a historically high percentage of all sales,” Moore continued. “In 2005 and 2006, foreclosure sales consistently accounted for less than 5 percent of all sales nationwide.”

Pre-foreclosure sales flat from year ago, REO sales down
A total of 92,824 pre-foreclosure homes—in default or scheduled for auction—sold to third parties in the third quarter, a decrease of 9 percent from the previous quarter and nearly identical to the 92,967 pre-foreclosure sales in the third quarter of 2010. Pre-foreclosure sales accounted for nearly 9 percent of all sales, the same as in the second quarter, but down from 12 percent of all sales in the third quarter of 2010.

Pre-foreclosure sales increased more than 30 percent on an annual basis in Michigan (up 68 percent), North Carolina (up 44 percent), Ohio (up 43 percent) and Georgia (up 35 percent). Pre-foreclosure sales outnumbered REO sales in several states in the third quarter, including Colorado, Florida, New Jersey and New York.

Pre-foreclosures, which are often sold via short sale, had an average sales price nationwide of $191,119, a discount of 24 percent below the average sales price of homes not in foreclosure. That was up from the 23 percent discount in the previous quarter and matched the 24 percent discount in the third quarter of 2010. Pre-foreclosures that sold in the third quarter took an average of 318 days to sell after receiving an initial foreclosure notice, up from an average of 245 days in the second quarter and average of 236 days in the third quarter of 2010.

A total of 128,712 bank-owned (REO) homes sold to third parties in the third quarter, down 13 percent from the second quarter and down nearly 8 percent from the third quarter of 2010. REO sales accounted for nearly 12 percent of all sales in the third quarter, down from 13 percent of all sales in the previous quarter and down from nearly 18 percent of all sales in the third quarter of 2010.

Nationally, REOs had an average sales price of $146,437 in the third quarter, a discount of nearly 42 percent below the average sales price of homes not in foreclosure. That matched a 42 percent discount on REOs in the second quarter, but was down from a 45 percent discount in the third quarter of 2010. REOs that sold in the third quarter took an average of 193 days to sell after being foreclosed on, up from 178 days in the second quarter and 161 days in the third quarter of 2010.

Nevada, California and Arizona post highest percentage of foreclosure sales
Foreclosure-related sales accounted for nearly 57 percent of all residential sales in Nevada during the third quarter, the highest percentage of any state. Third parties purchased a total of 13,992 homes in foreclosure or bank owned in Nevada during the third quarter, nearly identical to the 13,858 foreclosure-related sales in the previous quarter, but up 24 percent from the third quarter of 2010.

Third parties purchased a total of 62,583 homes in foreclosure or bank owned in California, representing nearly 44 percent of the state’s total residential property sales in the third quarter—the second highest percentage of any state. Foreclosure-related sales in California decreased nearly 7 percent from the previous quarter but were up 7 percent from the third quarter of 2010.

Arizona foreclosure-related sales accounted for 43 percent of all sales in the state, the third highest percentage of any state. Third parties purchased a total of 21,619 homes in foreclosure or bank owned in Arizona during the quarter, down nearly 14 percent from the previous quarter, but up 19 percent from the third quarter of 2010.

Other states where foreclosure-related sales accounted for at least 20 percent of all sales included Georgia (34 percent), Colorado (26 percent) and Michigan (23 percent).

Due to a nearly 30 percent decrease from the previous year, Florida foreclosure-related sales in the third quarter accounted for 19 percent of all sales in the state —down from 39 percent of all sales in the third quarter of 2010.

Metros with biggest foreclosure discounts
Among metropolitan statistical areas with at least 100 foreclosure-related sales during the third quarter, the Trenton-Ewing, N.J., metro area posted the biggest foreclosure discount. The average price of a foreclosure-related sale in the metro area was $108,302, nearly 68 percent below the average sales price of homes not in foreclosure. Foreclosure-related sales accounted for 8 percent of all sales in the Trenton-Ewing metro area during the third quarter.

Foreclosure-related sales accounted for nearly 13 percent of all sales in the St. Louis metro area during the third quarter and sold at an average price of $80,545, nearly 55 percent below the average price of non-foreclosure sales in the metro area—the second highest foreclosure discount among metro areas with at least 100 foreclosure-related sales.

The Milwaukee metro area documented the third highest foreclosure discount, with an average foreclosure-related sales price of $93,250—nearly 53 percent below the average sales price of non-foreclosure properties. Foreclosure-related sales accounted for 17 percent of all sales in the Milwaukee metro area in the third quarter.

Other metro areas with a foreclosure discount of at least 50 percent were Springfield, Mass. (52 percent), Saginaw, Mich. (52 percent), New Haven-Milford, Conn. (51 percent), Memphis (51 percent), San Francisco (51 percent), Toledo, Ohio (50 percent), Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. (50 percent), and Atlanta (50 percent).

For more information, visit www.realtytrac.com.

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