Residential-foreclosure sales fell in 2010 (by Robert Daniel)
TEL AVIV (MarketWatch) - Nearly 26% of residential sales in the U.S. during 2010 were foreclosures, with the average sales price of these properties 28% below that of properties that weren't in the foreclosure process, RealtyTrac reported late on Wednesday. The Irvine, Calif., consultancy and solution provider said last year's percentage of residential sales that were foreclosures fell from 29% in 2009 and rose from 23% in 2008. The 28% pricing discount of foreclosed properties relative to non-foreclosed properties compared with 27% in 2009 and 22% in 2008. Nearly 831,600 U.S. residential properties either owned by banks or in the foreclosure process sold to third parties in 2010, RealtyTrac reported. That's down 31% from 2009 and down 14% from 2008. Fourth-quarter foreclosure sales were pressured because the home-buyer tax credit expired and because of the controversy surrounding banks' handling of foreclosure documentation, Chief Executive James J. Saccacio said in a statement. For 2011, faster foreclosure sales "will help clear the oversupply of distressed properties" but also will continue to weigh on home prices in the short term, he said.