According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosure filings nationwide dropped for the second straight month in December. After falling 21 percent in November, filings were down by an additional 2 percent in December.
"Foreclosure filing" is a catch-all term, comprising default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.
Like most months, a small number of states dominated December's national foreclosure figures. 6 states accounted for more than 50 percent of all bank repossessions.
- California : 17% of all repossessions
- Florida : 11% of all repossessions
- Arizona : 6% of all repossessions
- Michigan : 6% of all repossessions
- Texas : 6% of all repossessions
- Nevada : 4% of all repossessions
December's foreclosure filings fell to its lowest levels since June 2008, but we can't read into the report too much just yet. Foreclosure volume continue to be dampened by lawsuits and moratoriums related to controversy surrounding the so-called robo-signers.
Foreclosure activity may have lessened in December anyway, but we can't know for certain.
Distressed properties are in high demand among home buyers, accounting for one-third of all home sales; typically sold at a steep, 15 percent discount as compared to non-distressed properties.
Buying foreclosures can be a terrific "deal".
That said, buying a foreclosed home is different from buying a non-foreclosed home. Specifically, because you're buying from a bank and not a person, contracts may vary from what's "customary" and negotiations may be drawn-out.
It's one reason why buyers in Oak Lawn -- first-timers and investors alike -- should talk with a real estate agent before writing an offer for a foreclosed property. You can learn a lot from the internet, but when it comes time to actually purchase a home, you'll want an experienced professional on your side.