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Foreclosure sales accounted for 26 percent of U.S. home sales in 2010, with those properties selling for more than 28 percent less, on average, than homes not in the foreclosure process, data aggregator RealtyTrac said in its latest report.

A total of 831,574 U.S. residential properties either owned by banks or in some stage of foreclosure sold to third parties in 2010, a decrease of 31 percent from 2009 and a decrease of nearly 14 percent from 2008, RealtyTrac said.

Homes in foreclosure accounted for a larger percentage of sales in 2009 — 29 percent — but their share of total sales was up from 23 percent in 2008.

While controversy over loan servicers’ handling of foreclosure paperwork put a dent in fourth quarter foreclosure sales, the impact of the so-called robo-signing controversy seemed to be waning in the final month of the year.

RealtyTrac recorded a total of 149,303 foreclosure sales in the fourth quarter, down 22 percent from the previous quarter and down 45 percent from the same period a year ago. That decline was in spite of a 21 percent monthly uptick in foreclosure sales volume in December.

"The catch-22 for 2011 is that while accelerating foreclosure sales will help clear the oversupply of distressed properties and return balance to the market in the long run, in the short term a high percentage of foreclosure sales will continue to weigh down home prices," said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio in a statement.

A total of 512,886 bank-owned (REO) properties sold to third parties in 2010 at an average discount of 36 percent, up from an average discount of 33 percent in 2009.

Another 318,688 pre-foreclosure properties — homes in default or scheduled for auction — sold to third parties in 2010 at an average discount of 15 percent, down from an average discount of nearly 17 percent in 2009.

2010 foreclosure sales

State/region Foreclosure sales Change from ’09 % of all sales Avg. price Avg. discount

U.S. Total

831,574

-31.14

25.96

$172,030

28.13

Alabama

3,425

11.82

15.88

$140,157

19.49

Alaska

702

-17.99

10.42

$226,403

15.28

Arizona

65,461

-29.36

49.17

$138,321

25.26

Arkansas

2,859

-34.19

15.08

$121,482

20.03

California

211,839

-41.58

44.47

$251,693

39.31

Colorado

17,410

-25.39

24.67

$186,046

28.25

Delaware

1,142

-6.93

13.92

$170,273

33.27

Florida

133,623

-7.85

36.20

$120,976

28.61

Georgia

27,657

-41.19

29.38

$119,940

37.20

Hawaii

1,670

11.33

11.06

$380,661

14.32

Idaho

6,882

28.49

28.42

$159,362

11.26

Illinois

29,194

-21.47

26.34

$138,395

38.63

Indiana

11,669

-39.66

19.27

$108,705

26.91

Iowa

1,733

-18.41

5.15

$97,820

32.44

Kentucky

3,795

-0.63

13.66

$94,268

40.48

Louisiana

2,524

-4.36

9.70

$131,574

25.15

Maryland

12,706

-17.70

17.93

$209,789

30.41

Michigan

40,901

-34.96

32.99

$73,771

37.66

Minnesota

7,171

-33.89

12.40

$148,225

25.65

Missouri

11,485

-33.77

17.18

$114,419

24.73

Montana

684

39.88

7.85

$208,272

-3.08

Nevada

37,655

-39.15

57.43

$135,921

18.49

New Hampshire

1,138

-56.94

12.18

$172,199

28.42

New Jersey

11,312

-21.36

15.18

$220,717

37.87

New Mexico

1,547

-0.77

8.03

$177,520

10.43

New York

9,454

-30.79

7.69

$281,810

23.17

North Carolina

10,315

-29.06

11.69

$146,261

25.85

Ohio

26,594

-38.16

22.51

$79,835

42.76

Oklahoma

2,967

-32.52

10.26

$96,314

32.09

Oregon

10,488

-9.64

28.17

$190,335

24.60

Pennsylvania

11,067

-14.40

11.28

$120,767

39.07

South Carolina

8,496

-10.10

18.09

$145,307

21.45

Tennessee

14,656

-33.96

18.81

$96,501

39.49

Texas

37,316

-24.50

12.88

$142,049

27.15

Utah

8,067

-19.48

19.71

$213,848

0.22

Virginia

18,188

-30.94

24.83

$228,564

30.39

Washington

11,217

-31.04

14.39

$232,314

24.53

Wisconsin

6,095

-31.06

13.86

$108,610

35.36

Source: RealtyTrac

Ten states posted average foreclosure discounts of more than 35 percent in 2010: Ohio (43 percent), Kentucky (40 percent), Tennessee (39 percent), California (39 percent), Pennsylvania (39 percent), Illinois (39 percent), New Jersey (38 percent), Michigan (38 percent), Georgia (37 percent) and Wisconsin (35 percent).


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