Apparently banks have finally woken up and smelled the coffee.
Banks are now more willing to agree to a sale at a lower cost than a homeowner’s mortgage balance in order to avoid having to foreclose on a property, a process that can be more costly for a lender.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, there were more than 88,000 short sales in the United States, a rise of 15 percent compared to a year prior, according to data release by Realty Trac, a publisher of foreclosure data. In total, short sales made up 10 percent of all U.S. home sales sold in the fourth quarter.
On the other hand, bank-owned home sales dropped 12 percent year-over-year (to 116,000), making up 13 percent of all home sales during the fourth quarter.
In the U.S., the average short sale in the fourth quarter sold for $184,221. The average foreclosure sold for $149,686; however, at least in Massachusetts, foreclosures tend to need more repairs, in part, because the properties are vacant for so long.