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How Big Is The Foreclosure Market? It Depends On Where You Live, Of Course.

Foreclosure concentration, by state (July 2010)Foreclosure filings rose 4 percent nationwide last month versus June, according to foreclosure-tracking firm For the 17th straight month, total filings topped 300,000.

A foreclosure filing is defined as default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession.

As with most months, just a handful of states dominated foreclosure activity nationwide.

  • California : 14.9 percent of all activity
  • Florida : 11.6 percent of all activity
  • Arizona : 6.4 percent of all activity
  • Michigan : 6.2 percent of all activity
  • Georgia : 6.1 percent of all activity
  • Texas : 4.9 percent of all activity

Together, these 6 states represent just 30 percent of the overall U.S. population.

The other 44 states (and Washington D.C.) were home to the remaining 49.0%.

Despite this imbalance, though, in all markets, foreclosures and REO are making a profound impact on pricing and product. “Distressed” homes now represent 32 percent of the overall resale market nationwide, according to the National Association of Realtors┬«.

Buying a foreclosed home can make for a terrific “deal”, but buying in the REO market is decidedly different from buying a non-foreclosed property.

As 3 examples:

  1. Buying bank-owned homes can take 120 days to close.
  2. Foreclosures aren’t always listed for sale publicly. Some inventory is privately-held.
  3. Bank-owned homes are often sold “as is”. There may be defects that render the homes mortgage-ineligible.

If you have an interest in buying REO, consider talking with a real estate agent first. Even the negotiation process is different as compared to a non-distressed sale. It helps to have an experienced professional representing your interests.