Foreclosures sell at 30% discount

By Les Christie, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Foreclosures accounted for a third of all sales -- and sold at a nearly 30% discount -- during the first three months of 2010.

According to a new report from RealtyTrac, the marketer of foreclosed properties, 31% of all sales were foreclosures. And homebuyers purchasing those properties paid a whopping 27% less, on average, compared to sales of non-distressed homes.

These foreclosure sales include properties sold in short sales or after a bank repossession, known as REOs in industry terms. It does not include transfers from borrowers to banks, as in a sheriff's auction.

REOs, those homes already taken back from borrowers, commanded lower prices than short sales and other pre-foreclosures. The average REO sold for 34% less than conventional sales while pre-foreclosures averaged only 15% less.

Part of the reason for the bigger price cut for REOs is that many of them come to the market in poor condition, their previous owners either unable to or unwilling to maintain them.

Foreclosures have become a dominant feature of many real estate markets, finding willing buyers among young bargain hunters and savvy housing market veterans.

During 2009, more than 1.2 million property sales involved foreclosures. That grew 25% compared with the year before, and 2,500% from 2005.

"That number boggled my mind," said Rick Sharga, a spokesman for RealtyTrac. "A 2,500% increase over a four-year period surprised even us."

Foreclosure sales were highest, expectedly in the bubble states. In Nevada, for example, they represented nearly 64% of transactions. And that's actually an improvement over the 75% of all sales during the first three months of 2009.

Surprisingly, both Massachusetts and Rhode Island had higher incidences of foreclosure sales than did the bubble state of Florida, at 42% vs. 39%.

"Massachusetts and Rhode Island were two of the only Northeastern states that racked up unsustainable price increases during the boom," pointed out Sharga.

Managing foreclosure inventories

Lenders have been trying to manage their inventories of foreclosed homes to prevent them from flooding the market and dragging down prices.

"It will be interesting to watch how they will manage the inventory levels of distressed properties on the market in order to prevent more dramatic price deterioration," said Saccacio.

Sharga said the impact of foreclosure sales on the rest of the homes for sale can be very strong. He cited Nevada, where the price difference between foreclosed properties and conventional sales is very narrow, only 17%.

"That state had such a high incidence of foreclosure sales it managed to depreciate the entire inventory there," he said. To top of page


Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.32%4.27%
15 yr fixed3.29%3.27%
5/1 ARM3.34%3.47%
30 yr refi4.29%4.24%
15 yr refi3.26%3.25%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,966.70 6.13 0.04%
Nasdaq 4,452.42 2.86 0.06%
S&P 500 1,978.93 0.59 0.03%
Treasuries 2.48 0.01 0.45%
Data as of 9:38am ET
Company Price Change % Change
EMC Corp 29.20 0.31 1.07%
Twenty-First Century... 32.81 -0.11 -0.33%
D.R. Horton Inc 21.61 -0.33 -1.50%
KeyCorp 13.86 0.11 0.80%
Xerox Corp 13.15 0.31 2.41%
Data as of Jul 25

Sections

After ending string of operating losses last year, Virgin America says it plans to sell stock. More

Is the economy back on track after a weak first quarter or about to get blown away? Investors will find out when the curtain is drawn on jobs and GDP data. There's also a Federal Reserve meeting. More

Louisiana is now the top location for motion picture filming, supporting thousands of new jobs and small businesses. More

Americans with disabilities face huge financial hurdles and it starts early on, according to a recent report. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.