As foreclosures finally proceed, auction market doubles

December 06, 2013 04:04PM

The number of homes on the auction block is on the rise, as homes that began foreclosure proceedings years ago finally come up for sale.

A total of 1,016 homes were listed for auction in October in the U.S., which is twice the number up for grabs at auction at the same time a year prior, according to data from And though they comprise less than 1 percent of total listings, auctions are up 120 percent compared with five years ago, the data show.

The increase comes despite an economy on the upswing, Rick Sharga, executive vice president of, told the Wall Street Journal. While part of the surge is simply a question of foreclosure proceedings coming full circle, many homeowners are also turning to auction houses to speed the sale of non-distressed properties, he said.

In 2011, New York state had the longest average foreclosure processing time in the nation, according to RealtyTrac. The average was 1,019 days.

The influx of homes up for auction is so large that Concierge Auctions, a New York City-based luxury auction house, can currently only accept one out of every 25 applications it receives from sellers, company president Laura Brady told the Journal. The firm was recently accused of fraudulently using sham bidders and other tactics to inflate its transaction volume, according to a suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. [WSJ] Julie Strickland