Short Sales Help Underwater Households

March 7, 2013

Data indicates that the pace of U.S. foreclosures is waning — in part because the housing market is rebounding but also because more home owners are engaging in short sales.

The approach has become more popular as home owners and real estate practitioners have learned the ropes of marketing and pricing these listings and as lenders have ironed out the kinks in order to process them more quickly.

Moreover, because they eliminate distressed mortgages, reduce the amount of time that vacant houses sit unoccupied, and command higher prices than foreclosures, short sales are seen as the more efficient way to unload underwater homes.

“Short sales change hands much more quickly,” says CoreLogic senior economist Sam Khater. “That’s a good thing for the economy and society.”

According to CoreLogic, foreclosures as a share of total homes sales slid to 11.5 percent in October 2012 from 17.3 percent a year earlier, while short sales increased to 10.4 percent from 8.1 percent over the same time frame.

Source: “Help for Underwater Homes,” The Wall Street Journal (March 6, 2013)

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