A new report from RealtyTrac, which tracks the sale of foreclosed homes, has revealed staggering foreclosure statistics around the country. While the Bellingham area is not as bad off as some, we have not been immune to the consequences of bad lending practices of the last decade. As banks foreclose on more homes, foreclosures are becoming common sights on the real estate market.
In Whatcom County, 17% of real estate transactions in the first quarter of 2010 were foreclosures, bank-owned, or another form of short-sale. While this may seem high, we come in lower than Washington State (18.9%), and the United States (31%). In California, foreclosures represented 51% of sales, and Nevada had the most with a jaw-dropping 64%.
Investors and first-time home buyers are taking advantage of lower than usual prices as result of foreclosures. Distressed houses, across the country, sold for an average of 27% less than houses not in the foreclosure process. In Whatcom County, the average discount was 15%. For more information about this foreclosure study, check out the Bellingham Herald article on foreclosures in Bellingham, Whatcom County, and beyond.