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Foreclosed Homes for Sale Accounted for 20% of Seattle Sales

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Foreclosed homes for sale accounted for 19.2 percent of total home sales in the Seattle area in November last year, according to a San Diego-based real estate sales tracking firm.

As more residential units got clobbered by the foreclosure crisis, more single-family homes and condo units got foreclosed during the 12-month period prior to November.

The percentage of foreclosure resales in November marked a jump from 18.6 percent during the previous month and from 15 percent during November of 2008. Sales of foreclosures in 2009 peaked in January when nearly 24 percent of all resales were foreclosed properties.

In the Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma metro area which covers the counties of King, Pierce and Snohomish, nearly 4,000 residential units were sold. These included new and previously owned single-family houses and condo units.

Total residential sales in November 2009 increased by more than 84 percent over a 12-month period, but decreased by nearly 6 percent when compared to the previous month. For many years, a drop in home sales between the months of October and November have been a normal occurrence, with the decrease in the last 15 years averaging 13 percent.

For the 22nd straight month, the median price for foreclosed homes for sale in November again fell, with houses priced less than $300,000 accounting for the majority of foreclosure resales.

Foreclosure investing and nondistressed investing pushed almost 12 percent of total sales in November, as second-home buyers and investors continued their buying frenzy. But the rate was low compared to the October rate of more than 13 percent and to the November 2009 rate of almost 16 percent. The count for foreclosure investors also included buyers who used a different residential address for their tax bills.

The median sales price for all types of homes sold in November decreased by 2.5 percent to $287,550 from the October median of $295,000. The median home sales price in Seattle has dropped over the past 22 months on an annual comparison basis, although it reached its highest point of $300,000 in the third quarter. The median price in Seattle reached its peak in June 2007.

The median price in November for existing single-family homes was $299,950, a 2.5-percent drop from the October median and a nearly four-percent drop from the November 2008 median.

Lastly, the use of FHA loans to buy foreclosed homes for sale and other types of homes in November in Seattle remained fairly steady at 39 percent, down by only one percentage point from the previous month.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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