Buy Bank Homes in the West Where Prices Fell 38% from Peak

by Peter Vernon on Foreclosures

Buy bank homes in the West where house prices plunged by 38 percent from their peak levels in 2005, based on a study by the National Association of Realtors and a housing report from Associated Press and Re/Max.

According to NAR, continued foreclosures in many parts of California, Nevada and Arizona pulled down home prices in the region, dragging down by 15 percent the home sales price median to $220,000. Compared to their peak price levels in 2005, home prices are currently down by around 38 percent. Prices however are up by around eight percent from the lowest price level reached in April this year.

Because of the attractive prices, house sales in the West climbed up by 10 percent in October. Additionally, the increase in sales was also driven by buyers wanting to beat the scheduled expiration of the tax credit. Mortgage rates lower than 5 percent and the availability of lower-priced foreclosure homes, distressed homes and non-distressed properties also prodded fence sitters to finally plunge into the housing market and buy bank homes.

According to the report from the Associated Press and Re/Max, 10 major metro areas in the West posted increases in adjusted annual sales in October while eight metro areas posted annual price declines. Sales numbers were taken from real estate agents working for various real estate companies.

The sharpest home price drop in October occurred in Las Vegas, with the sales price median plunging by nearly 31 percent to $125,000 compared to the median in October last year. Foreclosures dragged down home prices in Las Vegas as the city topped all other cities in a ranking of metro areas based on foreclosure rates in October.

Nevada also topped other states, with its foreclosure rate of one residential unit out of every 80 units. Total home sales in Nevada rose by 40 percent compared to October last year.

The biggest sales increase occurred in Boise, Idaho, where sales soared by almost 57 percent, while the biggest sales drop occurred in Los Angeles, where sales fell by 6 percent compared to sales in October 2008.

The biggest sales price gain occurred in Denver, where the sales price median soared to $201,700, a jump of almost 10 percent.

Additionally, in Henderson, Nevada, real estate brokerage owner Rosa Herwick said that more than 50 percent of her customers in October were first time home buyers and that most of them were able to buy bank homes because they paid in cash.

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