Sales of homes in some stage of foreclosure accounted for 26% of all US home sales in the first quarter of 2012. That compares to 22% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 27% of sales in the same period a year ago.
The average sales price of foreclosed homes fell -1% from the previous quarter and -2% from the first quarter of 2011. The price also reflects a -27% discount to the sales price of homes not in foreclosure, the same as discount as in the fourth quarter of 2011, but down from a -29% discount a year ago. The data comes from RealtyTrac’s latest report on foreclosure sales.
The research firm noted:
[P]re-foreclosure sales hit a three-year high in the first quarter even as the average pre-foreclosure sales price dropped to a record low for our report. Lenders are approving more aggressively priced short sales, which in turn is resulting in more successful short sale transactions.
Meanwhile the average price of a bank-owned home is stabilizing and even increasing in some areas where a slowdown in [bank-owned] activity over the past year has resulted in a restricted supply of [bank-owned] homes available.
We noted yesterday that the National Association of Realtors has also seen more interest among buyers for foreclosed homes. Combined with other housing indicators, the housing market appears to have reached a bottom and home prices are stabilizing or even rising in some markets where inventory is low.
RealtyTrac notes that pre-foreclosed home sales are up substantially, 16% higher quarter-over-quarter and 25% higher than the same period a year ago. These homes are either in default or scheduled for auction and the sales have risen due to short sales. Sales prices on these homes is down -4% from the fourth quarter of 2011 and down -10% from the same period a year ago. The average sales price of $175,461 is the lowest since RealtyTrac began tracking in 2005.
Foreclosures sales accounted for 56% of all sales in Nevada, at an average price of $116,695. In California, foreclosure sales accounted for 47% of all sales at an average price of $235,042, and in Georgia, foreclosure sales totaled 46% of all sales at an average price of $103,909.