Foreclosures Still Offer 'Substantial' Discounts

October 29, 2014

Distressed sales are making up a shrinking share of sales nationwide, but the average discount on them continues to be “substantial,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.

The median sales price of distressed residential properties, whether foreclosured or bank-owned, was $130,000 in September — 37 percent below the median nondistressed sales price of $205,000, according to RealtyTrac’s third-quarter 2014 "Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report." But in a few markets, discounts reach 50 percent or more compared to nondistressed sales prices.

“Distressed properties are typically in poor condition and have a highly motivated seller, whether that seller is the distressed home owner in foreclosure or the bank that has repossessed the property through foreclosure,” Blomquist says.

The major markets with the largest percentage discounts between distressed and nondistressed median prices in the third quarter were:

  • Pittsburgh: 72%
  • Milwaukee: 67%
  • Cleveland: 64%
  • Memphis: 59%

Nationwide, short sales and bank-owned sales are making up less of the market, dropping to 12.7 percent of all sales in the third quarter, down from 14.5 percent a year ago, RealtyTrac reports. Short sales and distressed sales are now at the lowest level since RealtyTrac began tracking such data in the first quarter of 2011.

However, distressed sales are still plaguing some metros. The following metros had the highest share of combined short sales and distressed sales during the third quarter:

  • Las Vegas: 34.9%
  • Stockton, Calif.: 31.8%
  • Modesto, Calif.: 31.2%
  • Lakeland, Fla.: 26.1%
  • Jacksonville, Fla.: 26.1%

Source: RealtyTrac