CNN Money reports that 2012 was the year of the short sale. Short sale transactions accounted for 32 percent of all home deals compared to foreclosures, which took 11 percent of the market, according to RealtyTrac. The greatest activity in short sales occurred in the second half of the year, possibly spurred by underwater homeowners wanting to close on their properties before the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act would potentially expire.
There are currently 1.7 million homes in the foreclosure process and 1.5 million that are seriously delinquent (90 days without a payment), according to Lender Processing Services, reports CNBC. But houses available for sale continue to be down in some parts of the nation.
“Inventories continue to be low because non-distressed sellers are largely absent from the market, apparently waiting for prices to increase even more before they decide to sell,” noted Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.
Last year, short sales increased by 6 percent, while foreclosures dropped 15 percent, helping push home prices up. Because short sales generally sell on average for a higher price than bank-owned properties, overall housing prices got a boost. While it’s too soon to tell how 2013 will turn out, foreclosures and short sales are still prevalent in the current housing market where inventory is far from robust.