Blomquist: u201cExpiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act could stifle short sales.u201d<@SM>For the third consecutive quarter, the number of pre-foreclosure sales outpaced the number of REO sales nationwide.<@SM>Short sales of properties not in the foreclosure process increased 15% from the previous quarter and 17% from third-quarter 2011. Of the distressed properties sold in short sales, 22% were non-foreclosed properties.<@SM>For all short sales, including both non-foreclosure and in-foreclosure, the final sales price was on average $94,896 short of the loan amount.

IRVINE, CA-Nationwide, the number of properties sold during third-quarter 2012 that were in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned REO increased 21% over the previous quarter, although that number is still down 3% from third-quarter 2011, according to a recent report from RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties. The report also shows that foreclosure-related sales accounted for 19% of all US residential sales during Q3, down from 20% in the previous quarter but the same level as in third-quarter 2011.

Also, unlike in recent years, sales of properties in some stage of foreclosure outnumbered sales of foreclosed, bank-owned properties in the third quarter. And short sales of properties not in the foreclosure process increased 15% in Q3 from the previous quarter, a rise of 17% from the year before.

“The shift toward earlier disposition of distressed properties continued in the third quarter as both lenders and at-risk homeowners are realizing that short sales are often a better alternative than foreclosure,” said Daren Blomquist, VP of RealtyTrac, in a prepared statement. “However, the scheduled expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act at the end of this year could stifle this trend toward short sales.”

As reported last week, completed foreclosures nationwide for the month of October decreased to 58,000, a 17% year-over-year decrease from October 2011 and a 9% drop since the beginning of the year, according to CoreLogic. In addition, the firm reports that home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased on a year-over-year basis by 6.3% in October compared to October 2011—the largest increase since June 2006 and the eighth consecutive increase in home prices nationally on a year-over-year basis.

*charts courtesy of RealtyTrac

For the complete report, click here.

For more information on distressed asset investments, click here.