RealtyTrac releases list of best places to purchase short sales and REOs

Real estate information company RealtyTrac recently released a list of the top markets in the United States to purchase short sales and real estate owned (REO) properties. As the traditionally busy spring housing season approaches, prospective buyers may want to consider these options and take advantage of the significant deals on these kinds of homes.  

By measuring data from the Foreclosure & Short Sales Report from the end of 2012, the company was able to determine the top 15 metros – out of more than 900 nationwide – for these transactions. Factors such as price, fourth quarter annual percent change in short sales, average amount short and the time it took to sell from the foreclosure start date helped RealtyTrac come up with its results. 

Nine of the 15 markets that were considered the best places to buy short sales are located in California, with Santa Barbara in the lead with a 107 percent year-over-year increase in these properties. Areas like Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Las Vegas, Nevada, also made the list.

Although short sales are often a better alternative to foreclosures, there are some parts of the country where it makes sense for people to look into REOs, RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said in a statement. 

"Buying from the bank may still be a better option in other markets because of increasing REO inventory, deeper discounts and shorter times to close," Blomquist said in the company's press release.

Metros that made the list of best places to purchase bank-owned properties include Cleveland, Ohio; Charlotte, North Carolina and Palm Bay, Florida. 

No matter what kind of home people buy, it's important for lenders to invest in loan management software to ensure that borrowers can stay on top of their monthly payments.