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REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY NEWS
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Orange County foreclosure sales fall in Q1

A total of 2,411 distressed homes were purchased in the period, says Irvine's RealtyTrac.

By Kristen SchottPublished: May 26, 2011 11:05 AM

Orange County's distressed-home sales dropped in the first quarter compared to the previous period and the same time in 2010, according to a new report from Irvine-based RealtyTrac.

A total of 2,411 properties in some stage of foreclosure – including those in default, scheduled for auction or bank-owned – were purchased in the period, down 31.4 percent from the same time last year and 10.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010. Such transactions made up 36.2 percent of all local residential sales.

Nationally, third parties snatched up 158,434 distressed homes, down about 35.8 percent from the first quarter of 2010 and 16.5 percent from the previous period. That comes out to about 27.5 percent of U.S. residential transactions.

At the first-quarter rate, it would take three years to sell the nearly 2 million properties "on the banks' books" or in some stage of foreclosure across the U.S., said James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.

"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 Saccacio. "While this is probably helping to keep home prices relatively stable, it is also delaying the housing recovery.”

Locally, the average price tag on a distressed home in the first quarter was $435,702; that's a discount of 18.4 percent. On a national scale, such properties were purchased for an average cost of $168,321 – and that's a 26.6 percent discount.

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