S.C. foreclosure sales increase in Q3

By Lauren Ratcliffe
lratcliffe@scbiznews.com
Published Dec. 6, 2012

Sales of foreclosure properties in South Carolina amounted to 14% of all home sales during the third quarter, according to data from RealtyTrac.

While national foreclosure sales decreased in the quarter from 2011, the state saw a nearly 20% jump in foreclosure sales activity, the foreclosure tracking firm reported.

In the state, homes under some form of foreclosure sold at an average discount of 30% when compared with homes not in foreclosure. People living in Anderson County saw the greatest discount with homes under foreclosure selling at prices nearly 40% less than homes that are not under foreclosure.

Berkeley County had the greatest percentage of foreclosure sales with 20% of all home sales in the county being foreclosed properties.

Nationally, foreclosure-related sales accounted for 19% of all home sales in the quarter. Pre-foreclosure sales increased 22% from 2011 indicating sellers facing foreclosure are selling homes much earlier in the process.

The jump in pre-foreclosure sales goes against the trend of recent year. Sales of homes in some state of foreclosure now outnumber sales of bank-owned properties. Sales of bank-owned properties fell 20% from 2011, but prices in that category grew 7%.

Short sales, or sales of properties before the foreclosure process, increased 17% nationally.

“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, vice president of RealtyTrac. “However, the scheduled expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act at the end of this year could stifle this trend toward short sales.

“If that law expires as scheduled, homeowners who agree to a short sale could see their income tax jump significantly because the portion of the unpaid loan balance not covered by the short sale proceeds will be considered taxable income in many cases,” he said.

County-by-county sales figures

S.C.
county

Lowcountry
Berkeley
Charleston
Dorchester

Midlands
Calhoun
Lexington
Richland

Upstate
Anderson
Greenville
Spartanburg

S.C.
United States

# of
sales


157
270
106


0
122
220


87
227
125

2,076
193,059

% change from 2011


106.6%
25%
-2.75%



14%
53.9%


38.1%
-7.4%
23.8%

19.8%
-2.9%

Average
price


$152,842
$203,832
$137,942



$100,088
$95,974


$72,012
$116,943
$81,170

$131,259
$177,430

% change from 2011


-3.6%
-13.6%
11.5%



-8.1%
-13.5%


3.7%
-0.3%
-14.6%

-2.8%
3.5%

Average
discount


26.1%
37.3%
21.9%



36%
36.3%


38%
32%
24.5%

29.8%
31.8%

Source: RealtyTrac

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