Short Sales…..What are the banks saying?

Happy Thursday Morning!  There are a couple of things I want to remind people of. First, at the end of 2012 the Mortgage Relief Act of 2007 expires.  What does this mean? In short it means that if you foreclose or short sale your home after this time, you will have to pay earned income tax on the amount the bank forgave  you! We don’t want that to happen so if you are thinking of doing a short sale call me today! And I thought this article was interesting.

Short Sales Rise, More Banks View it as a Better Option

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | THURSDAY, MARCH 01, 2012

Banks are more willing to agree to a sale at a lower cost than a home owner’s mortgage balance in order to avoid having the property fall into foreclosure, which can be more costly for a lender.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, there were more than 88,000 short sales, a rise of 15 percent compared to a year prior. In all, short sales made up 10 percent of all home sales sold in the fourth quarter, according to recent data released by RealtyTrac.

On the other hand, bank-owned homes dropped 12 percent year-over-year (to 116,000), making up 13 percent of all home sales during the fourth quarter.

The average short sale in the fourth quarter sold for $184,221, according to RealtyTrac. The average foreclosure, on the other hand, sold for $149,686.

Banks are now more willing to do short sales and that trend will likely “show up in more local markets in 2012 as lenders recognize short sales as a better option for many of their non-performing loans,” said RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore.

Meanwhile, during the fourth quarter, 24 percent of homes sold — nearly one in four — were in some stage of foreclosure, either already bank-owned or already winding through the process, RealtyTrac reports. The number is slightly down compared to a year prior when foreclosures accounted for 26 percent of all home sales, RealtyTrac reports.

However, Moore says he expects foreclosure sales to rise this year, “particularly pre-foreclosure sales, as lenders start to more aggressively dispose of distressed assets held up by the mortgage servicing gridlock over the past 18 months.”

Source: “Foreclosures Made Up One in Four Home Sales,” CNNMoney (March 1, 2012)

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