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February 2, 2012

Having trouble finding a Baltimore foreclosure to buy? Here's why

If you're trying to buy a foreclosure in the city and feel like your choices aren't what they were a year ago, it's not your imagination. While there were more short sales on the market last year than in 2010, bank-owned homes for sale (the purple line in the graph below) took a steep drop:




The data comes from Metropolitan Regional Information Systems' stats arm, RealEstate Business Intelligence. Though it probably won't come as a complete shock to anyone following the news about robo-signing, it's a striking chart nonetheless.

Here's the change in actual sales of distress properties:



As short-sale deals crept upward, foreclosure sales slumped, narrowing the gap. But if you compare the two charts, you'll see that there are still way more city homeowners hoping to sell short than those actually managing to do it. The odds of a bank-owned property listed for sale last year getting to settlement were much higher. (I am hearing some agents say the short-sale process seems to be getting better, but it depends on the bank.)

Are you trying to buy or sell in the "distress" category? What are you seeing out there?

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 6:00 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Distress sales, The foreclosure mess


There are plenty of properties out there Jamie that should be foreclosures, but are being held up by the banks. There are surely more short sales in comparison...maybe the banks are allowing the short sale process to take its course while our State's Attorney waits to decide on what the State will do with the pending settlement from the big banks. I am realtor buying properties for a non-profit developer. They have funds through Healthy Neighborhoods to purchase only Foreclosed and Short Sale properties. They are in a bit of a conundrum - they have to purchase and complete renovations on X number of properties by Feb 2013. They are challenged to meet their original proposed goal due to the lack of foreclosures available. It is night and day between what is available now and what was available in 2010.

Yes, Healthy Neighborhoods chatted about that very problem a few months back:

This should be a significant year, foreclosure-wise.

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie

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