Foreclosures account for 28 percent of all home sales in first quarter 2011; Selling at discount of 27 percent

RealtyTrac released their foreclosure report this morning for the first quarter of 2011 showing that foreclosure homes (sales of bank-owned homes and those in some stage of foreclosure) accounted for 28 percent of all U.S. residential sales during the quarter. This is up slightly from 27 percent the prior quarter and the highest percentage since the first quarter of 2010, when 29 percent of all sales were foreclosure sales.

Foreclosure home sale prices down slightly:

The average sales price of properties in some stage of foreclosure (default, scheduled for auction or bank-owned) was $168,321, down 1.89 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 and down 1.46 percent from the first quarter of 2010.

The average sales price of foreclosure properties was nearly 27 percent below the average sales price of properties not in foreclosure, unchanged from the 27 percent foreclosure discount in the fourth quarter and up slightly from the 26 percent foreclosure discount in the first quarter of 2010.

Number of foreclosure sales down significantly from peak:

There ere a total of 158,434 U.S. bank-owned homes and those in some stage of foreclosure sold to third-parties (not the lender) during the first quarter, a decrease of 16 percent from the prior quarter and down 36 percent from a year ago. Bank-owned properties that sold in the first quarter had been repossessed by the bank an average of 176 days prior to the sale, while properties that sold in the earlier stages of foreclosure in the first quarter were in foreclosure an average of 228 days before selling.

“While foreclosure sales continue to account for an unusually high percentage of all residential home sales, sales volume is well off the peak we saw in the first quarter of 2009, when nearly 350,000 foreclosure properties sold to third parties,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “While this is probably helping to keep home prices relatively stable, it is also delaying the housing recovery. At the first quarter foreclosure sales pace, it would take exactly three years to clear the current inventory of 1.9 million properties already on the banks’ books, or in foreclosure.”

Nevada, California and Arizona – Foreclosures dominate home sales:

Foreclosure sales accounted for 53 percent of all residential sales in Nevada during the first quarter, the highest percentage of any state but down from nearly 54 percent of all sales in the previous quarter and down from 59 percent of all sales a year ago.

California foreclosure sales accounted for 45 percent of all residential sales in the state during the first quarter, up from 43 percent of all sales in the fourth quarter but down from nearly 48 percent a year ago.

Foreclosure sales also accounted for 45 percent of all residential sales in Arizona during the first quarter, down from 50 percent of all sales in the previous quarter and down from nearly 47 percent a year ago.

Other states where foreclosure sales accounted for at least one-quarter of all sales were Idaho (33 percent), Florida (32 percent), Michigan (32 percent), Oregon (32 percent), Virginia (30 percent), Colorado (30 percent), Illinois (29 percent), Georgia (27 percent) and Ohio (25 percent).

It’s going to be a long, slow recovery:

So while the numbers are looking better in terms of the number of foreclosure sales themselves, unfortunately they still account for over a fourth of all current home sales and will continue to have a fairly significant impact on home prices until this improves. Based upon the comments of James Saccacio, it sounds like it’s going to be quite a while before we see this.

St. Louis Area Foreclosures for Sale:

If you are interested in buying a foreclosure, click on the appropriate link below to see what is currently available in the St. Louis area:

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