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Short sales increasing despite recovering market

While, the housing market in the U.S. generally became stronger in 2013, RealityTrac recently released a study showing that many homeowners are still in trouble. The research revealed that short sales, public foreclosure auctions and sales of properties owned by a bank comprised 16.2 percent of the total home sales in the U.S. last year. This is higher than the rate in 2012, which was 14.5 percent. The rate in 2011 was 15.2 percent. An executive from RealityTrac stated that short sales trended downward in the second half of 2013, but over 1.2 million properties in the country still face foreclosure or are owned by a bank.

Bank-owned properties comprised 9.3 percent of all the homes that were sold in December. RealityTrac also created a list that ranked the states according to their rates of bank-owned sales. Troubled Nevada came in at the top of the list with 18.9 percent. The next states in order were Michigan, Ohio, Arizona and Illinois. South Carolina was not ranked in the top ten.

The report coincides with other data in the housing market which indicates that the recovery has been lopsided. Some markets still have a very high rate of distressed properties, while other cities are hitting new peaks in home prices. The median price for a distressed home sale in December of 2013 was only $108,494, leading to the sales netting 38 percent less money than typical home purchases.

Despite how troubling the statistics may seem, a higher number of short sales in particular can actually be viewed as good news. People that underwent a short sale in 2013 were likely avoiding a foreclosure altogether. South Carolina residents looking for a way out of foreclosure may want to follow suit by looking into the advantages of a short sale.

Source: blogs.marketwatch.com, "Distressed-home sales rose to 16% of all sales last year" Ruth Mantell, Jan. 23, 2014

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