Statistical Indicators

S. Fla. foreclosure sales up, U.S. down

Posted on Friday, December 3, 2010

Despite the national moratorium that brought foreclosures to a halt in October, the speed at which lenders were filing and courts were processing foreclosures in Florida was not enough to cut into the sales of foreclosed residences in the tri-county area.
And, along with that increase in sales has come a drop in pricing, with discounts in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties ranging from 24 percent to 39 percent.
Between July and September, nearly 12,000 foreclosed homes in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties were sold. That was up by nearly 300 from the previous quarter, according to data from RealtyTrac. The data reflects sales of homes in any stage of foreclosure.
Nationwide, sales of foreclosed homes plunged 25 percent in the July to September period compared to the prior three-month period.
“Florida somewhat pioneered the rocket dockets and the results we are seeing now is that the system is getting better at processing the massive amounts of foreclosures,” South Florida real estate analyst Jack McCabe said.
As a result, lenders can post the homes for sale online, reaching a larger group of buyers, he noted.
In Miami-Dade County, the number of foreclosed homes sold rose to 4,991 in the third quarter from 4,448 in the second quarter. The average sales price fell to $128,239 from $140,465.
Broward County was a bit of an anomaly. The number of foreclosed homes sold dipped slightly, to 4,688 from 5,001. And, the average sales price actually ticked up to $122,202 from $121,328, quarter-over-quarter.
There were 2,303 foreclosed residences sold in Palm Beach County in the third quarter, up from 2,255 in the second quarter. The average price fell to $141,594 from $146,306.
Rick Sharga, senior vice president at RealtyTrac, said the fact that foreclosure sales in the tri-county area are up 2.3 percent from last quarter, but down 13 percent statewide may be due to “an influx of offshore money coming from investors looking specifically for distressed properties” as well as “the result of more inventory coming to market after lengthy delays in the state's foreclosure process.”
Nationwide, there were 188,748 homes in foreclosure, accounting for 25 percent of all U.S. sales in the third quarter. The average sales price of homes that sold while in some stage of foreclosure was more than 32 percent below the average sales price of properties not in the foreclosure process – up from a 26 percent discount in the previous quarter.
Foreclosure sales accounted for nearly 40 percent of all sales in California in the third quarter, the third-highest percentage nationwide.
States where foreclosure sales accounted for at least one-quarter of all sales were Florida (37 percent), Massachusetts (35 percent), Michigan (32 percent), Georgia (29 percent), Oregon (27 percent), Idaho (25 percent) and Illinois (25 percent), according to RealtyTrac.
“As long as one-third to a half of the market is distressed sales, we will not see a return to a healthy real estate market until sometime in 2012,” McCabe said.
In fact, he noted, Florida is expected to end the year with as many as 1 million foreclosures.
South Florida Business Journal - by Susan R. Miller

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