News Column

Foreclosure Offerings in Nevada Are Hardly a Steal, Report Finds

February 28, 2013

Eli Segall, Las Vegas Sun

Buying a distressed home in Nevada was no bargain last year.

The average sales price of a home in some stage of foreclosure -- such as having a notice of default or being bank-owned -- was $126,521 in 2012, almost 6 percent higher than in 2011, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.

Also, the state's average foreclosure discount of 19 percent -- the price break compared with nondistressed homes -- was well below the national average of 31 percent.

About 34,900 distressed homes were sold in Nevada last year, down 36 percent from 2011. Still, they accounted for 37.78 percent of all home sales statewide last year, the third-highest rate in the country.

California was No. 1 at 38.05 percent, followed by Georgia at 37.83 percent. Nationally, distressed homes accounted for 21.4 percent of all sales.

Las Vegas Valley home buyers and brokers say there is fierce competition for all homes, distressed or otherwise. That's because of the limited inventory and the seemingly endless appetite of cash investors, who buy cheap homes in bulk to use as rentals.

Meanwhile, the number of short sales -- in which a lender agrees to sell a home for less than what's owed on the mortgage -- soared by 86 percent last year in Nevada, RealtyTrac reported. They accounted for 33 percent of all home sales statewide, and the average amount owed was $121,977.

But just because short sales are a dominant force in the housing market doesn't mean they've become any faster to process. It still can take six months to a year -- if not longer -- to complete a deal.

Nationally, short sales rose 4 percent from 2011 and comprised 22 percent of all sales last year. The average amount owed was $81,621.

Source: (c)2013 the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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