America’s banks are more willing than ever to embrace a short sale in order to avoid the costly process of foreclosure, according to latest statistics from RealtyTrac.
Over the last three months of 2011, there was a 15% increase in the number of short sales, totaling some 88,000 – almost 10% of all home sales for the fourth quarter, according to a report in CNN Money.
This rise is in stark contrast to the number of bank-owned sales, which decreased by 12% year-on-year. The 116,000 recorded foreclosures amounted to just 13% of all home sales for the fourth quarter. According to RealtyTrac, the average short sale during the last quarter went for $184,221, compared to just $149,686 with foreclosures.
This would appear to be concrete evidence that there is a growing willingness on the part of banks to embrace short sales, and this trend is expected to “show up more in 2012 as lenders recognize short sales as a better option for many of their non-performing loans,” according to RealtyTrac’s Brandon Moore.
CNN Money also reported that over the last quarter, almost one in four (24%) of all homes sold were in some stage of foreclosure, either bank-owned or at some other stage of the process. This figure is down on the previous year’s fourth quarter total, when 26% of all sales were accounted for by foreclosures.
Even so, Moore revealed that he expected the number of foreclosures to rise in 2012, especially pre-foreclosure sales, as lenders look to dispose of distressed assets more aggressively in an effort to clear the backlog built up over the last 18 months.