Foreclosures Were Almost a Quarter of All Home Sales at End of 2012

Foreclosure CrisisThe Q4 and year-end 2011 foreclosure sales report from Irvine, CA-based RealtyTrac(R) ( shows that sales of houses in some stage of foreclosure or bank owned accounted for 24 percent of all U.S. residential sales during the fourth quarter — up from 20 percent of all sales in the previous quarter, but down from 26 percent of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The report, released Thursday, March 1, 2012, revealed that third parties purchased a total of 204,080 residential properties in some stage of pre-foreclosure during the fourth quarter, down 8 percent from a revised third quarter total and down 2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010. That brought total foreclosure-related sales in 2011 to 907,138, down 2 percent from 2010 and accounting for 23 percent of all sales during the year.

The average sales price of houses in foreclosure or bank owned was $164,944 in the fourth quarter, nearly identical to the average foreclosure-related sales price in the previous quarter and down 5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010. The average price of a foreclosure-related sale was 29 percent below the average price of a non-foreclosure sale during the quarter, down from a 34 percent foreclosure discount in the third quarter and down from a 35 percent foreclosure discount in the fourth quarter of 2010.

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