March Drop in Home Prices Raises Demand for Short Sales

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As home prices continue to decline, the market sees a growing demand for short sales.

The Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas released Tuesday shows prices of previously owned homes fell 2.2 percent in March. The 10-city and 20-city composites also set new records, with annual declines of -15.3% and -14.4%, respectively. Las Vegas is reporting an annual decline of -25.9%, followed by Miami and Phoenix at -24.6% and -23.0%, respectively.

Prices of single-family homes dropped a record 14.1 percent in the first-quarter in comparison to a year earlier, while U.S. consumer confidence is the lowest in 16 years as a result of escalating gasoline prices.

As home prices continue to decline, the market sees a growing demand for short sales. A short sale is the sale of a house in which the equity falls short of what the owner still owes on the mortgage. "A combination of increasing financial hardship and declining equity rates put thousands of homeowners in an immediate risk of losing their property," says Raffi Tal, COO of I Short Sale. The short sale advisory firm, a leader in its area nationwide, experienced a growth of more than 17% in requests for short sales during the first quarter. "Property owners and lenders look at the current situation and turn to the first and most effective solution currently available in the market."

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Shoham Nicolet
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