The Real Deal Miami

Distressed U.S. home sales surge in December

January 24, 2011 03:32PM

On the heels of the paperwork scandal that prompted some of the country’s biggest lenders to halt foreclosure proceedings, distressed home sales jumped significantly in December as foreclosures resumed. According to a new report from Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance, 47.2 percent of all U.S. home sales involved distressed properties in December, up from 44.5 percent in November and back near September’s 47.5 percent peak, just before the robo-signing scandal came to light. Meanwhile, first-time homebuyers took a larger share of the market as well last month, with 37.7 percent of transactions involving such newbie buyers, compared to 34.4 percent in September and October. According to the report, that uptick in first-time homebuyer sales was the result of fears about “another burst of interest rate increases” combined with declining interest from investors, who are becoming increasingly worried about a double dip in home prices. TRD