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REOs, short sales lose market share

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Sales of bank-owned homes and properties in the foreclosure process fell 33 percent during the first quarter from their year-ago peak, to 232,959, but accounted for 31 percent of all home sales, according to data aggregator RealtyTrac. Sales of "real estate-owned" (REO) properties repossessed by lenders at the end of the foreclosure process were down 27 percent from a year ago, to 144,503, RealtyTrac said. REO properties still accounted for 19 percent of all homes sales during the first quarter, up from 16 percent in the final three months of 2009 but down from 21 percent a year ago. Sales of homes making their way through the foreclosure process but not yet repossessed by lenders fell by nearly 41 percent from a year ago, to 88,456. Those transactions -- which were typically short sales -- accounted for nearly 12 percent of all home sales, up from 10 percent in the final quarter of 2009 but down from 16 percent a year ago. REOs sold for an average discount of 34 percent c...