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RealtyTrac: Short sales at 3-year high

CoreLogic finds completed foreclosures down 15 percent in April from a year ago

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A three-year high in pre-foreclosure sales, typically short sales, helped push the nation's overall share of distressed sales up to 26 percent in the first quarter, according to a report from foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac released today. A total of 233,299 properties sold in the first quarter were either in some stage of foreclosure, meaning they were subject to a default notice or scheduled auction, or had completed the foreclosure process and become bank-owned before being sold.That total is virtually flat from first-quarter 2011, though it comprised a slightly higher share of overall sales -- 26 percent -- than in the same three-month period last year, when 25 percent of homes sold were distressed. Twelve percent of overall sales and nearly 47 percent of foreclosure-related sales last quarter were pre-foreclosure homes -- a total of 109,521 properties. That's a 25 percent increase from first-quarter 2011 and the highest total since first-quarter 2009. At the same time, sales ...