Short sales plummet in Palm Beach County

Once a life boat for struggling homeowners in a sinking housing market, short sales are now on the decline, according to a new report.

An analysis conducted by CoreLogic showed that Palm Beach County had only 83 short sales in February, down 52 percent over the same period in 2013, indicating such transactions may become much more unusual.

The report chalks up the drop to rising home equity — an estimated 26 percent of county borrowers have underwater mortgages, down from 43 percent in 2011, the Palm Beach posted reported. On top of that, Congress didn’t extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which was first used in 2007 to save homeowners thousands on their taxes by exempting forgiven debt as income, the article said.

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Realtors also point out that lenders may be waiting for top offers on distressed properties — more than homes may be worth even, according to the report.

In the South Florida market, short sales and foreclosure transactions have dwindled from 29 percent of single-family homes in 2012 to 23 percent in 2013, as previously reported[PalmBeachPost] — Angela Hunt