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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Short sales, foreclosures making up high percentage of areawide housing sales

Last week I wrote about Fredericksburg-area housing sales in March. Here is the article. 

This week I’ve been working on an article about short sales becoming increasingly common. Ernie Dill, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Elite who handles many short sales, sent me this supplemental data showing how many distress sales and listings there were in this area last month.

A short sale occurs when the home sells for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. Realtors say banks are increasingly accepting these. See Saturday’s article in the FLS business section for more. Here is the data from March for Fredericksburg, Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford.

  • There were 2,660 active listings at the end of March.
  • Of that number, 210 were bank-owned foreclosures. That’s 7.9 percent of all actives.
  • Short sales comprised 311 listings, or 11.7 percent of all actives.
  • Thus, 19.6 percent of all active listings at the end of March were distress sales.
  • 341 homes sold in March.
  • 164 of those sales were bank-owned foreclosures, or 48.1 percent of all sales. There were 28 short sales, or 8.2 percent of closings. 
  • Hence, 192 home sales, or 56.3 percent of the total, were distress sales.
  • Distress properties: 521 listings, 192 sales. 2.7 homes were listed for every sale.
  • Non-distress properties: 2,139 listings, 140 sales. 15.3 homes were listed for every sale.

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  • Joe_LittleBear

    We wonder, how could this sorry state of affairs have happened….and perhaps it is a great mystery,…to those too young to remember how it was….in the 1950′s….You may snicker,…but in those days, “Father knew best ” AND, most families lived on a single income…leaving the mother at home to manage the children keep them out of trouble….. We paid cash for what we could afford….AND it was ours to keep…. Today, we buy recklessly, using money we have borrowed….until the debt is so staggering that we can not possibly pay the bills when they come due…..then, the party is over,…..and we are reduced to nothing…. We suffer for our foolish decisions,…..and so do the lenders…..who had hoped to reap great profits….and are now left with used, and often damaged merchandise…and a debt which may be unrecoverable….. In the 1950,s we considered the price, and the worth of a product before we bought it….if we couldn’t afford it…..we didn’t buy it…….and that kept the price down to a level that we could afford….Unbridled credit gives birth to reckless spending….and that is a recipe for disaster….