Distressed sales accounted for nearly a quarter of all U.S. home sales in the last three months of 2011, with an increasing share made up of short sales, according to a report from foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac released today. Sales of homes in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned made up 23.7 percent of sales overall last quarter, down from 26.4 percent in fourth-quarter 2010, though up from 20.4 percent in third-quarter 2011. Distressed homes sold for an average $164,944 in the fourth quarter, down 4.7 percent from fourth-quarter 2010. On average, foreclosure-related properties sold for 29.4 percent less than nonforeclosure properties during the quarter, compared to a nearly 35 percent discount in fourth-quarter 2010.RealtyTrac notes that it does not control for home size or co...