Distressed Homes In U.S. Sell At 32%-41% Discount

Posted By on December 2, 2010

The other shoe is dropping in real estate.  The banks have a lot of inventory to sell, so this will take a while! 

Sales of existing homes, which make up more than 90 percent of the market, declined more than forecast in October amid the foreclosure moratoriums and the absence of the tax credit of as much as $8,000, the National Association of Realtors reported Nov. 23. Purchases fell back in July to the slowest pace in a decade’s worth of record-keeping but have picked up since.  The index of pending home resales jumped 10 percent in October after dropping 1.8 percent in September, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington.

U.S. homes in the foreclosure process sold for about 32 percent less than non-distressed properties in the third quarter, the biggest discount in five years, and bank-owned real estate sold at an average 41 percent discount in the third quarter as buyer demand slumped, according to RealtyTrac Inc.

The average discount for bank-owned real estate, residences in default or those scheduled for auction rose from 29 percent a year earlier, RealtyTrac said in a report today. A quarter of all U.S. transactions involved those types of homes, according to the Irvine, California-based data seller.

Sales of foreclosure properties plunged 31 percent as the end of a buyer tax credit reduced purchases overall, RealtyTrac said. The decline came before loan servicers including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. halted some home seizures amid claims that employees processed thousands of documents without verifying them.

Lenders are now more willing to negotiate lower prices for foreclosures, said Chmielewski, who said he sells 25 to 30 homes during a typical month. “We’re finding there’s more flexibility by banks,” he said in a telephone interview. “Offers that wouldn’t have been accepted a couple of years ago are now.”

Fannie Mae began offering incentives on its seized homes in September, including giving as much as 3.5 percent of the sales price for closing fees. Brokers representing buyers of Fannie Mae’s foreclosed homes also stood to receive a $1,500 bonus for closing a sale, according to a Sept. 23 announcement.

Bank-owned real estate sold at an average 41 percent discount in the third quarter, up from 35 percent a year earlier, RealtyTrac said. Discounts for homes in default or scheduled for auction averaged 19 percent, compared with 18 percent a year earlier. Most of those properties were short sales, in which a lender accepts less than the balance on a mortgage, said Daren Blomquist a RealtyTrac spokesman.

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