Short sales of homes – where the seller owes more than the home is worth – have surged this year in the Carolinas, driven by interest from investors, a streamlined process and an expiring U.S. tax credit.Ã‚Â Nationally, such sales in the third quarter rose 17 percent from the year before. In the Carolinas, the jump was more pronounced – rising 25 percent in North Carolina and 22 percent in South Carolina, according to the RealtyTrac research firm.
Experts attribute much of the increase to a tax credit set to expire Dec. 31 that lets sellers exclude forgiven mortgage debt from their taxable income.
Short sales took off after the real estate meltdown, as homeowners who needed to sell found their property values had plummeted. But recently, as the housing market has improved, distressed sales – which include short sales and foreclosures – have accounted for a smaller percentage of total sales.
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