The combination of foreclosure-related sales and short sales accounted for 43% of last year's U.S. residential sales, according to new data from Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.
RealtyTrac reports that 947,995 U.S. properties in some stage of foreclosure or real estate owned (REO) activity were sold during 2012, down 6% from 2011 and down 11% from 2010. Foreclosure-related sales accounted for 21% of all U.S. residential sales during the year, down from 23% of all sales in 2011 and down from 28% of all sales in 2010.
Properties not in foreclosure that sold as short sales in 2012 accounted for an estimated 22% of all residential sales, bringing the total share of distressed sales to 43%, including both foreclosure-related sales and non-foreclosure short sales.
RealtyTrac found that pre-foreclosure sales in 2012 increased 6% from the previous year, while sales of REO property decreased 15%. Foreclosure sales accounted for more than 38% of all residential sales in California in 2012, the highest percentage of any state, but down from 44% of all sales in 2011 and down from 49% of all sales in 2010. California pre-foreclosure sales in 2012 increased 12% from 2011, while California REO sales decreased 27% over the same time period.
‘Although foreclosure-related sales represent a shrinking share of total sales, primarily because of fewer bank-owned purchases, distressed sales are still a disproportionately high portion of the overall housing market,’ says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. ‘And while distressed properties – whether bank-owned, pre-foreclosure or short sales not in foreclosure – are still selling at a significant discount compared to non-distressed properties, average distressed property prices are increasing in many markets thanks to strong demand and limited inventory.’