Foreclosure sales dropped dramatically first quarter. A total of 190,121 properties that were in some stage of foreclosure or were bank-owned (REO) were sold during the second quarter, a decrease of 18 percent from the previous quarter and down 22 percent from the first quarter of 2012.
These foreclosure-related sales accounted for 21 percent of all U.S. residential sales during the first quarter, down from 25 percent of all sales in the first quarter of 2012 and down from a peak of 45 percent of all sales in the first quarter of 2009, according to RealtyTrac.
Properties not in foreclosure that sold as short sales in the first quarter accounted for an estimated 15 percent of all residential sales — bringing the total share of distressed sales during the quarter to 36 percent. Non-foreclosure short sales also trended lower in the first quarter, down 10 percent from the previous quarter and down 35 percent from the first quarter of 2012.
“We expected foreclosure-related sales to be lower given the downward trend in new foreclosure activity nationwide over the past two and a half years, but the decrease in non-foreclosure short sales was a bit of a surprise given the 11 million homeowners nationwide still underwater,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Rising home prices in many markets are stunting the continued growth of short sales by reducing incentive for both underwater homeowners and lenders. Underwater homeowners may be willing to stick it out a few more months or even years in the hope that they will be able to walk away with money at the closing table and without a hit to their credit rating, and for lenders a failed short sale may no longer translate into bigger losses down the road given that average prices of bank-owned homes are rising — at a faster pace than non-distressed home prices in many markets.”
Other high-level findings from the report:
States with the biggest percentage of foreclosure-related sales were Georgia (35 percent), Illinois (32 percent), California (30 percent), Arizona (28 percent), and Michigan (28 percent). States where foreclosure-related sales account for less than 10 percent of all sales include Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.