RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties, released its most recent foreclosure sales report that shows that properties in some stage of the foreclosure process made up almost a third of property sales in the first quarter of this year.
The firm reported that bank-owned homes and those in some stage of foreclosure accounted for 28% of all U.S. residential sales in the first quarter of 2011, up slightly from 27% of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 and the highest percentage of sales since the first quarter of 2010, when 29% of all sales were foreclosure sales.
The average sales price of properties in some stage of foreclosure — default, scheduled for auction or bank-owned (REO) — was $168,321, down 1.89% from the fourth quarter of 2010 and down 1.46% from the first quarter of 2010.
The average sales price of foreclosed properties was nearly 27% below the average sales price of properties not in foreclosure, unchanged from the 27% foreclosure discount in the fourth quarter and up slightly from the 26% foreclosure discount in the first quarter of 2010.
Third parties purchased a total of 158,434 U.S. bank-owned homes and those in some stage of foreclosure during the first quarter, a decrease of 16% from a revised fourth quarter total and down 36% from a revised Q1 2010 total, the firm said.
Bank-owned properties that sold in the first quarter had been repossessed by the bank an average of 176 days prior to the sale, while properties that sold in the earlier stages of foreclosure in the first quarter were in foreclosure an average of 228 days before selling.
“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 James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
“While this is probably helping to keep home prices relatively stable, it is also delaying the housing recovery. At the first quarter foreclosure sales pace, it would take exactly three years to clear the current inventory of 1.9 million properties already on the banks’ books, or in foreclosure,” Saccacio said.