Local sales of homes in foreclosure jump 65% in 3Q – chicagotribune.com
Sales of Chicago-area homes in the foreclosure process but not yet repossessed by banks soared during the third quarter, RealtyTrac reported Thursday.
The online foreclosure marketplace said 3,531 pre-foreclosure homes in the greater Chicago area sold in the three months that ended in September, up 34 percent from the second quarter and 65 percent year-over-year. Separately, third-quarter sales of repossessed, bank-owned properties rose to 5,731 properties, up 37 percent from June and 45 percent from 2011’s third quarter.
Increased sales of distressed homes are a good sign for the market’s long-term health because overall prices will rise as discounted properties are removed from the market. Also, the increase in pre-foreclosure short sales has enabled homeowners to benefit from the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which does not treat the forgiven part of the unpaid debt as taxable income. The legislation is set to expire at year’s end.
Natiionally, the 98,125 pre-foreclosure short sales completed during the third quarter just outnumbered the sale of 94,934 bank-owned properties.
“The shift toward earlier disposition of distressed properties continued in the third quarter as both lenders and at-risk homeowners are realizing that short sales are often a better alternative than foreclosure,” said Daren Blomquist, a RealtyTrac vice president.
However, he added, “The prospect of being taxed on potentially tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income may motivate more distressed homeowners to forgo a short sale and allow the home to be foreclosed.”
On average, Chicago-area homes sold through short sales, a transaction where the homeowner sells the property for less than the amount owed on the mortgage, with the bank’s permission, sold for an average discount of 41 percent from non-distressed sales. Bank-owned homes sold at an average discount of 54 percent.
RealtyTrac said sales of distressed properties accounted for 28 percent of Chicago-area home sales during the third quarter. The company’s definition of the Chicago area extends from southern Wisconsin to Northwest Indiana.
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