Foreclosure activity is much slower this year than last.
According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, the number of national foreclosure filings plunged 35 percent in March 2011 as compared to March 2010, a statistic that reflects a more healthy housing market and more robust outlook for 2011.
A “Foreclosure filing” is defined as any of the following : a default notice, a scheduled auction, or a bank repossessions. Foreclosures filings were down in all but 8 states last month.
Activity remains concentrated, too. More than half of all bank repossessions can be tied to just a handful of states.
In March, 6 states accounted for 51% of activity.
- California : 15% of all repossessions
- Florida : 9% of all repossessions
- Arizona : 7% of all repossessions
- Michigan : 7% of all repossessions
- Texas : 6% of all repossessions
- Nevada : 5% of all repossessions
At the other end of the spectrum is Vermont. With just 5 repossessions for all of March, Vermont accounted for 0.008% of repossessions nationwide.
Distressed homes remain in high demand among today’s home buyers, accounting for almost 40% of all home resales. It’s no wonder, either. Distresses home typically sell at a steep, 15 percent discount as compared to non-distressed properties.
Buying foreclosures can be a great “deal”. However, make sure you’ve done your homework.
Buying homes from banks is different from buying a homes from “people”. Contracts and negotiations are different, and homes are often sold with defects.
If you plan to buy a foreclosure, therefore, make you you speak with a licensed real estate professional before submitting a bid. You can research a home online and learn a lot of the process, but when it’s time to purchase, put an experienced agent on your side.