Foreclosure Sales on the Rise


Foreclosure sales continue to advance in the end of 2014, generating expectation in the housing market that a 2015 spring cleaning of banks and financial institutions’ real estate owned properties (REOs) may be in the offing and could help moderate prices gains in the coming year.

In Florida, one of the heftiest increases in foreclosure sales of single family homes was in Manatee wherein a 57% year-over-year spike to 118 units was posted in September. The median price of foreclosed single family home sales for the month in the county rose 6.0% to $111,300 from $105,000 a year earlier. These price levels compare with the $217,000 median price for all single family homes sold in September which is just 1.4% below the $220,000 registered in 2013.

The picture is pretty much the same in Sarasota wherein more than a fifth of total homes sold in September and October 2014 were foreclosures or short sales. Distressed properties listed among Sarasota homes for sale during those two months were estimated to have accounted for about 10% of all available properties. This percentage share ranged from 10% to 12% throughout the first 10 months of year. 

Foreclosure Sales on the Rise

State-wide, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) logged 4,599 single-family home foreclosures in September, 39% above the 3,314 for the same month in 2013. These homes’ median price of $112,850 was up nearly $10,000 on a year-over-year comparison.

This heightened statewide and regional market activity on foreclosures is a mirror image of the national scenario. Across the U.S., almost 60,000 bank REOs were scheduled to be auctioned in October, up 24% from September and 7% higher than a year earlier. The October level of foreclosure auctions is the highest level since May 2013.

Typically,these auctions appeal to investors and do not attract a lot of traditional home buyers. Bidding in foreclosure auctions mean competing against cash-rich investors savvy enough to bid even without inspecting the property. Many of foreclosed homes are still occupied at auction time which means prospective buyers cannot fully determine the condition of the residences before bidding. This is one of the reasons why not all properties may be sold on their scheduled auction date.

Availing of the sound advice of an expert local realtor is therefore a smart move for those seeking bank-owned Manatee properties or Sarasota homes for sale under auction terms. The typical foreclosures or REOs priced in the $100s in both counties are homes with three to five bedrooms and floor areas ranging from 1,150 to 2,750 square feet.

The options are more plentiful on bank-approved short sales with prices in the $100s in the current MLS of Manatee or Sarasota homes for sale. These available residences usually feature floor areas ranging from 800 to 2,960 square feet with two up to six bedrooms.

Searches for foreclosures in the higher price ranges of Sarasota homes for sale can yield some prized selections in prime communities such as the Venetian Golf and River Club. An REO here is currently sales-listed with an tag price slightly below $37,000, featuring three bedrooms within a floor area measuring nearly 2,400 square feet.