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Friday, August 22, 2014         

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More isle homeowners doing short sales to avoid foreclosure

The total number of foreclosure sales is still higher than a year ago, up by 81 percent

By Andrew Gomes

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More Hawaii homeowners are going the route of a short sale rather than foreclosure when they are unable to keep up payments on their homes.

BY THE NUMBERS

States with the highest average price for home foreclosure sales in the second quarter:
Hawaii $383,292
New York $288,889
California $256,833
Washington $234,578
Virginia $230,748
A new report from real estate research firm RealtyTrac shows that there were 298 short sales in the second quarter compared with 228 sales after lenders took back homes at auction.

In a short sale, lenders approve selling the property to an interested buyer, often for less than the seller owes on the mortgage. It is a way for the owner to avoid foreclosure and the possible negative impact it could have on credit scores.

The volume shows that lenders continue to be open to such pre-foreclosure sales, though the total number of pre- and post-foreclosure sales was still substantially higher than a year earlier.

The second quarter's 526 foreclosure sales represented an 81 percent increase from 290 in the second quarter of last year. The year-ago figure included 201 short sales and 89 lender sales.

In the recent quarter, total foreclosure sales represented 10.3 percent of home sales statewide. That share was eighth-lowest among 39 states in the report. Nevada had the highest share of foreclosure sales, at 55.7 percent of all home sales. RealtyTrac said it didn't have sufficient data for 11 states.

The average price for all Hawaii home foreclosure sales was $383,292. RealtyTrac said that was 12.5 percent less than the average for all nonforeclosure home sales in the period in Hawaii.

However, it's hard to measure the true effect of foreclosures on property values because average prices are influenced by numerous factors including the age, size, location and quality of homes sold.






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