Sales of homes that are or have been in some stage of foreclosure accounted for over 26 per cent of all 2011 home sales in South Florida, with over 43,000 properties having been sold by banks according to a report released by California based real estate monitoring firm RealtyTrac.
This is a higher percentage than the rest of the state, and far higher than even the average for the USA as a whole.
For the first time, says RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist, short sales in South Florida outnumbered bank owned sales in the final months of 2011. Short sales are deals to sell property for less than what is owed on its mortgage.
“Because of the increasingly messy foreclosure process, especially in a state like Florida, banks are saying 'let's not deal with that — let's go ahead and just approve a short sale — and cut our losses early' on rather than going through the whole foreclosure process and then trying to sell the property," Blomquist said.
This speed is good news for property hunters, many of whom had been attracted by bargains but put off by the red tape surrounding bank owned properties.
"I know a lot of buyers have gotten frustrated with short sales in the past because they can take a long time to get all of the approvals, but there does seem to be a trend where banks are more aggressive in approving those," added Blomquist.
Search for property in USA
Read our guide to buying a property in USA