Foreclosure discounts gone in some markets

Nov. 10, 2012 at 10:26 AM
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SEATTLE, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Price savings on purchases of foreclosed homes are disappearing in hot housing markets like Las Vegas and Phoenix, an Internet real estate firm said.

There was no difference in September between the price of a foreclosed home sale and a standard home sale, digital real estate firm Zillow said. Home buyers today "will get somewhat of a deal, depending on the market," Zillow's Chief Economist Stan Humphries said.

Times have changed in the housing market, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. Supplies of existing homes are shrinking as low interest rates attract buyers, and homeowners -- many of whom walked away from their homes when the properties' value fell below what they owed on their loans -- are now holding on to their properties, waiting for values to rise again.

Foreclosed homes still represent deals in many markets, such as Cleveland, where Zillow said prices for foreclosed homes averaged 25.8 percent below standard sales. The price difference in Pittsburgh was 27.4 percent in September. It was 20 percent or better in Cincinnati and Baltimore, the Times said.

With home supplies tight, investors who can afford to bid a little more than others are making it hard for first-time buyers to find a deal, said Gary Kruger, a real estate agent in Hemet, Calif.

"I have not had a successful person purchase a foreclosed home that was not an investor for months. Things are selling so quickly," he said.

Real estate agent Keith Lynam said the problem in Las Vegas is, "There is just zero inventory."

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