Bargain hunters looking to snap up foreclosed homes found prices dipped again in the first quarter, with Ohio and Illinois offering the steepest discounts, according to figures released earlier this week by RealtyTrac. But if you're getting ready to you whip out your checkbook, you may want to wait even longer.

During the first quarter, homes foreclosed by banks or in various stages of foreclosure accounted for 28% of all residential sales in the U.S. That's slightly up from 27% in the previous quarter, slightly down from 29% a year ago.

"At the first quarter foreclosure sales pace, it would take exactly three years to clear the current inventory of 1.9 million properties already on the banks' books, or in foreclosure," says James Saccacio, RealtyTrac CEO, in a statement.

Foreclosures tend to dampen the value of neighboring homes, which in part explains the 3% decline in value that hit U.S. homes in the first quarter, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. And the folks at Zillow recently revised their forecast of when U.S. homes would likely see their falling values bottom out, moving the bar from later this year to 2012 -- at the earliest.

The price of a home in some stage of foreclosure is getting cheaper, according to RealtyTrac. During the first quarter, the average sales price was $168,321 -- down 1.89% from the previous quarter and a decline of 1.46% compared with a year ago.

And when comparing the sales price of foreclosed homes to homes that were not in foreclosure, the discount widened a tad during the first quarter, compared with a year ago. The discount grew to nearly 27% in the first quarter, compared with a 26% a year ago.

But in Ohio and Illinois, the average discount was a whopping 41% in the first quarter, higher than last year by 1 and 3 percentage points, respectively.

Other states with fire-sale discounts in the low to high 30% range include: California, Delaware, Georgia, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

An Improvement from Recession Numbers


"While foreclosure sales continue to account for an unusually high percentage of all residential home sales, sales volume is well off the peak we saw in the first quarter of 2009, when nearly 350,000 foreclosure properties were sold to third parties," Saccacio said.

During the first quarter, 158,434 homes in various stages of foreclosure or bank-owned (REO) homes were sold to third parties, down 16% from the previous quarter and a drop of 36% from a year ago.

Nevada was the hardest hit. As in previous quarters, a majority of the homes sold in the Silver State (53%) were going through the foreclosure process or already been foreclosed on, according to RealtyTrac. But the numbers were slightly better than in previous quarters. Foreclosure sales accounted for 54% of the transactions in the fourth quarter and 59% a year ago.

California and Arizona were not far behind. Of all the residential transactions handled in both states during the first quarter, foreclosure-related sales accounted for 45% of the transactions in both California and Arizona.

Scammers Converge on California

But it's California that's attracting a horde of foreclosure scam artists, according to a report released Thursday by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, an independent national nonprofit advisory organization.

California homeowners represented 22% of the calls to HPF's hotline, where folks can report cases where they believe they've been approached or were a victim of a foreclosure rescue scam. Florida came in a far distant second, with only 7% of the hotline calls, followed by Texas and New York which each had 5% of the calls.

"Although California was among the states most hard hit by the housing crisis, the reported foreclosure rescue scam activity seems disproportionately higher than we would have expected," says Colleen Hernandez, HPF's CEO, in a statement. "It's also surprising that the scam activity is so widely dispersed [throughout the state] rather than concentrated in areas or regions with the highest foreclosure rates."

Among cities attracting foreclosure rescue scam artists, Miami ranked No. 1, followed by Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston and Chicago.

Homeowners who find themselves in a financial bind should take note that the Federal Trade Commission in February began prohibiting companies and individuals from charging upfront fees to negotiate mortgage reduction plans on behalf of the homeowner. Despite that new FTC rule, HPF warns companies and so-called mortgage rescue experts continue to charge upfront fees that average $2,589 a pop - often without delivering any relief or doing any work.

Here's a state-by-state look at RealtyTrac's foreclosure rates:foreclosure sales nationwide

  • The number of foreclosure sales ( # of FC Sales)
  • Percentage change from the fourth quarter (% from Q4 10)
  • Percentage change from a year ago (% from Q1 10)
  • Foreclosures as a percent of all sales ( Pct. of All Sales)
  • Average foreclosure sales price (Avg FC Sales Price)
  • Average foreclosure discount percentage (Avg FC Discount%)
  • Average foreclosure discount percentage for bank-owned homes (Avg REO Discount%)
  • Average percentage discount percentage of pre-foreclosure homes (Avg Pre-FC Discount%)

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iepapa

Why is there no information for the state of Vermont?

May 31 2011 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to iepapa's comment
nomorebarry7

The Dog ate Dawn Kawamoto's homework and it never got printed, there are only 38 state listed on the chart shown. I guess she gets an incomplete.

June 01 2011 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
iepapa

Why are there no records for the state of Vermont

May 31 2011 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
phr2701sd

where is South Dakota

May 30 2011 at 12:14 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
someoneole

monstamansmith

NAFTA took the jobs away OGFUSE.

This is one time that I have to agree with you.

May 30 2011 at 11:57 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to someoneole's comment
someoneole

Ron Paul submitted a bill to repeal NAFTA.I hope it works. if that is true, of which I doubt, i hope it works also. I would like to see a fair trade policy, not free trade

May 30 2011 at 12:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
someoneole

The reason that we have such high budget deficits is because tax cuts have been used has a gimmick by the GOP since the time of Reagan to get vote. The GOP have always pointed the finger at the Democrats and call them tax and spenders. If you tax and spend at least you bring in money and spend it, but if you cut taxes and still spend, than you have to borrow. The GOP have always talked about cutting things that are politically undoable such as Medicare & social security, and that is why we have deficits.

May 30 2011 at 11:48 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to someoneole's comment
bggdg

After our most recent tax cut enacted in 2003, federal tax receipts grew in each of the successive 5 years, totalling a whopping 43% cumlative gain through 2008. But you wouldn't want to confuse yourself with any facts, would you?

May 30 2011 at 10:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
someoneole

After reading a poll about the Tea Party which CNN News conducted March 30th 2011, which states that the Tea Party’s approval rating is only about 32% , and 47 % negative approval. Lets keep in mind that 32% is a small portion when compared to the whole voting public, but a considerable portion when compared to the number of GOP voters. The Tea Party has got tremendous power when electing candidates in the primary. Since the poll was taken, the GOP house passed the Ryan bill, which has outraged a great deal of voters; to attest to this fact just look at what happened in New York in a GOP strong hole. The Tea party with their weak intellectual level, strong ideological fervor, and the power to chose candidates in the GOP primary, it will be interesting to see where things go from here.
http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/30/poll-shows-more-americans-have-unfavorable-views-tea-party/

May 30 2011 at 11:23 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to someoneole's comment
bggdg

Illiterates like you should really refrain from commenting on the intellectual level of others. Unless, of course, your intent was just to give us all a good laugh?

May 30 2011 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fmaster952

Sure cnn would say that its a 3rate info or better yet a very slanted report

May 31 2011 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
OGFUSE

WOW....I TOUGHT I WAS ON A SITE WHERE PEOPLE ATLEAST WE'RE INTELLIGENT....WHAT IS THIS ???HIDDEN RACIST BS???AND ON A THIRID GRADE LEVEL?? ANYONE WHO WOULD RATE BUSH OR OBAMA IN A WORST LIGHT THAN ANY!!! PREVIOUS PRESIDENT...I'LL JUST SAY...I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU'VE BEEN FOR THE PAST 200 YEARS!!! LET US NOT FORGET UR BELOVED RONALD REAGAN SUPPLIED GUNS TO NORIEGA...WHILE HE FLOODED THE COUNTRY WITH CRACK....OR LET GO FUTHER...ANDREW JACKSON'S SLAUGHTER OF THE INDIANS...AND OH!! HOW ABOUT JIM CROW!!!!! IT IS ONE THING TO BE A RACIST....I COULD ATLEAST RESPECT THOSE PEOPLE'S POSITION AND THEIR HONESTY!!! IT IS ENTIRELY ANOTHER TO HIDE BEHIND RELIGON,POLICTICS AND YOUR MONEY TO PUSH A RACIST AGENGA!!!!!~AND NOT EVEN KNOW IT!!!! THANK GOD THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY...WE ARE ALL EQUAL WHEN THE GOOD LORD LAYS US TO REST....AND WE MUST THEN GIVE AN ACCOUNT FOR ALL OF OUR STATEMENTS AND ACTIONS!!! I WISH YOU ALL WELL...THE WORLD WILL END SOON ANYWAY...AND YOU WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT YOUR POLITICAL INTEREST BEING COMPROMISED!!! IF I WE'RE YOU ...I WOULD BE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THESE SO-CALLED "NATURAL DISASTERS....GOING ON...AND THIS SECOND VIETNAM THESE KIDS ARE FIGHTING!!! GETTING THIER LIMBS BLOWN OFF THEIR YOUNG BODIES...SO YOU CAN FEEL SAFE IN YOUR HOMES AND COMPLAIN ABOUT A BUDGET THAT CAN NOT BE SHRANKED UNTIL PEOPLE STOP STARVING!!!! AND LOOSING EVERYTHING THEY WORKED FOR!!!! WHAT ABOUT... THE ELITIEST.....CORPORATIONS(AND BANKS!!!!) WHO MOVED ALL THESE COMPANIES OVER SEAS AND KILLED!!!!! THE AMERICAN ECONOMY...AND THE MOM AND POPS BUSINESSES....I'M DONE HYPOCRITES!!!!

May 30 2011 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wlouche

Obama's nose is 10' long.

May 29 2011 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
savemycountry911

Nobody has lied like Obummer.

May 29 2011 at 10:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mrspelosi

Bushy haven't the people from MSNBC called you yet to replace Keith? Don't wait for them to call you. You should just call them and ask for the job dear.

May 29 2011 at 2:48 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to mrspelosi's comment
nomorebarry7

LMAO

May 29 2011 at 2:52 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
nomorebarry7

Why do they call her "bushy" is she real hairy?

May 29 2011 at 2:54 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply