Short Sales and Bank-Owned Properties a Third of all King County Home Sales Says New Report, Short Sales Hold Steady; Bank-owned Sales on the Rise

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Short sales and the sale of bank-owned properties showed steady increases in the Puget Sound area through 2011, according to an new report released by Washington Property Solutions, a short sales negotiating firm. Short sale and bank-owned properties represent a third of all home sales in King County.

Banks are finally working through the backlog of foreclosed homes," said Eastern. "As the pipeline of bank-owned properties floods the market, it further erodes home values, causing more homeowners to go underwater and enter into short sale territory.

Short sales and the sale of bank-owned properties showed steady increases in the Puget Sound area through 2011, according to a new report released by Washington Property Solutions, a short sales negotiating firm. The percentage of single family home sales that were short sales remained fairly consistent from 2010 to 2011. The increase in distressed property sales overall as compared to 2010 is attributed to a steady increase in the number of bank-owned property sales.    

■ King County closed 2011 with distressed properties accounting for over a third of all single family home sales in the area. Distressed properties made up half of all home sales for the year in Snohomish and Pierce Counties.

■ The increasing percentage of distressed properties continues to pull down the median price of all home sales. While short sales typically sell for 5-10% less than non-distressed properties, bank-owned homes— which are much more likely to suffer from neglect—can sell for a significant discount.

■ The median price of all single family short sale properties sold in 2011 in King County was $286,000. Properties sold ranged from a 980 square foot home in Federal Way that sold for $58,000 to an 8-bedroom $2.5 million home on Lake Sammamish. 45 short sale properties sold for $1 million or more in King County in 2011.

■ The median price of all single family bank-owned properties sold in 2011 in King County was $202,000. Properties ranged from a 1,700 square foot home in Carnation that sold for $30,000 to a 7,900 square foot $3 million home in Medina. 37 bank-owned properties sold for $1 million or more in King County in 2011.

Washington Property Solutions CEO Richard Eastern is projecting an increase in both bank-owned home sales and short sales for 2012.

"Banks are finally working through the backlog of foreclosed homes," said Eastern. "As the pipeline of bank-owned properties floods the market, it further erodes home values, causing more homeowners to go underwater and enter into short sale territory."

About Washington Property Solutions
Washington Property Solutions is a short sale negotiating firm based in Bellevue, Washington. Founded in 2003, the company has helped brokers and homeowners successfully negotiate over 700 short sales with a 90% success rate in closing. Washington Property Solutions also consults with homeowners on qualification for the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) process and the Washington State Mortgage Foreclosure Fairness Act (FFA). Washington Property Solutions negotiators are licensed Windermere Real Estate brokers.

For more information, visit washortsales.com

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Richard Eastern, CEO
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