Thursday, February 28, 2013

Foreclosures up in the Carolinas during 2012

The number of U.S. properties in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owed that were sold last year dropped 6 percent compared to 2011 and fell 11 percent from 2010, according to RealtyTrac.

These nearly 1 million foreclosure-related sales accounted for 21 percent of all U.S. residential sales during the year, down from 23 percent of all sales in 2011 and down from 28 percent of all sales in 2010.

Both North Carolina and South Carolina, meanwhile, saw an increase in foreclosure-related sales. Such sales rose 10.24 percent in North Carolina and accounted for nearly 12 percent of all sales. In South Carolina, they jumped  nearly 12 percent and accounted for 15.54 percent of sales.

Properties not in foreclosure that sold as short sales in 2012 accounted for an estimated 22 percent of all residential sales nationwide — bringing the total share of distressed sales to 43 percent (including both foreclosure-related sales and non-foreclosure short sales).

"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,” said 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.” 

Short sales (where the sales price was below the estimated amount of all outstanding loans for a given property) of properties not in foreclosure accounted for an estimated 22 percent of all U.S. residential sales in 2012 and increased 4 percent from 2011.

Short sales are becoming more common in North Carolina and Charlotte. 

North Carolina was among the states with the biggest increase in non-foreclosure short sales and saw a 24 percent increase last year.

Local real estate agents have attributed the increase in part to increased familiarity among sellers and buyers and a more streamlined process. Tax credits that expired last year also boosted interest.