Saturday, April 21, 2012

Short Sales to Reach Record Numbers This Year?

Short sales are surging this year, and if the trend continues, they could reach record levels in 2012, RealtyTrac reports.

Short-sale transactions are starting to outpace foreclosure sales, as more banks see it as a better option to curb high losses from foreclosures. More mortgage servicers are also trying to increase the pace of approving short sales, a process that is generally viewed as drawn-out and lengthy.

Short sales increased 33 percent in the last year, according to January data released this week by RealtyTrac. Thirty-two states saw year-over-year increases in short sales. Lender Processing Services Inc., which also recently released its January housing data, showed that short sales accounted for 23.9 percent of home purchases in January while foreclosures made up 19.7 percent of sales — the first time that short sales have outnumbered foreclosures.

"[We] believe 2012 could be a record year for short sales," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

This week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, issued new rules to speed up the pace of short sales. Mortgage servicers will be required to respond to a short-sale request within 30 days and make a decision about short-sale offers within 60 days. The new rules go into effect June 1.

Source: “Short Sales Expected to Surge This Year,” CNNMoney (April 19, 2012) and “Short Sales Start to Outpace Foreclosures,” REALTOR® Magazine Daily News (April 19, 2012)

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