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4Q distressed home sales up 16% in Chicago area

Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012 11:32 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — Fourth-quarter sales of distressed homes and condos in the Chicago area rose 16 percent from the third quarter and were up 25 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011, RealtyTrac reported Thursday.

In the last three months of the year, 7,347 home sales, accounting for 28 percent of all homes sold in the Chicago area, were short sales or foreclosures. They sold for an average selling price of $132,232, a discount of 44 percent from the non-distressed market.

While the uptick in activity is good for the long term because home prices won't appreciate until the distressed inventory clears, it is a warning sign for homeowners trying to sell this year that pricing competition continues.

"We expect to see foreclosure-related sales increase in 2012, particularly (short sales), as lenders start to more aggressively dispose of distressed assets held up by the mortgage servicing gridlock over the past 18 months," said Brandon Moore, RealtyTrac CEO, in a statement.

In Illinois as well as nationally, there was a shift last year toward short sales and away from bank-owned foreclosures, Moore said. The number of short in Illinois last year rose 26 percent.

For the year, 27,282 distressed homes were sold in the Chicago area in 2011, down 9 percent from 2010. The average price of $135,399 was a discount of 47.13 percent from the average selling price of non-distressed homes.

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