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Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2011 U.S. Foreclosure Sales Report: Shifting Toward Short Sales

By RealtyTrac

IRVINE, Calif. – March 1, 2012 — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its Q4 and Year-End 2011 U.S. Foreclosure Sales Report™, which shows that sales of homes that were in some stage of foreclosure or bank owned accounted for 24 percent of all U.S. residential sales during the fourth quarter — up from 20 percent of all sales in the previous quarter, but down from 26 percent of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Third parties purchased a total of 204,080 residential properties in some stage of pre-foreclosure (NOD, LIS, NTS, NFS) or bank-owned (REO) during the fourth quarter. That brought total foreclosure-related sales in 2011 to 907,138, down 2 percent from 2010 and accounting for 23 percent of all sales during the year.

“We continued to see a shift toward pre-foreclosure sales, or short sales, and away from REO sales in the fourth quarter,” Moore continued.

Pre-foreclosure sales increased more than 20 percent on a year-over-year basis in several states, including California (23 percent)c.

California foreclosure-related sales accounted for 43 percent of the state’s total residential property sales in the fourth quarter, the second highest percentage among the states. Third parties purchased a total of 246,780 homes in foreclosure or bank-owned in California during all of 2011, the most of any state and up 2 percent from 2010.

Top metros to buy pre-foreclosure (short sales) Among metro areas with at least 500 pre-foreclosure (short) sales during the fourth quarter and where pre-foreclosure sales increased at least 5 percent from a year ago, the following posted the biggest discounts on sales of pre-foreclosure properties. A few metro areas (Chicago, Atlanta and Seattle) are on both lists, demonstrating that buyers are finding substantial discounts on both short sales and bank-owned homes in these markets.

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