Investors Find Bargain Foreclosures to Their Liking in March

A big number of investors in the U.S. find bargain foreclosures to be the hottest investment in March 2011 as they take advantage of the low prices of these distressed properties. The high level of activities by investors propelled the nation's housing sales up during the month. However, purchase activities by first time and traditional buyers went down over the same period.

The nationwide trend was mirrored in various local markets. In Georgia, a lot of investors also purchased Lawrenceville foreclosure homes and distressed houses in various local markets of the state. At the country-wide level, sales of previously-owned houses increased to an adjusted rate of 5.1 million annually in March of this year, according to the National Association of Realtors. Compared with February 2011, the jump was around 3.7%.

According to housing market observers, majority of the Georgia foreclosure homes and distressed properties all around the U.S. that were purchased in March were grabbed by investors. Market observers also claimed that it is highly likely that most of these purchases were made by the bulk by private equity companies who mostly paid in cash. For March 2011, 40% of total housing sales were accounted for by short sales and foreclosures, while 35% of total sales transactions were closed using all-cash payment.

They also reported that most of these investors find bargain foreclosures in hard-hit areas such as Las Vegas, Tampa and Phoenix. Housing analysts also revealed that another sign that investors dominated housing sales transactions in March was the price range of homes that got purchased during the month. Housing reports showed that sales of houses priced below $100,000 rose by 10% from one year ago, signaling investors' move to take advantage of heavily-discounted prices.

They also stated that foreclosure bargains seemed to be the preferred property during the month as sales of houses ranging in price from $100,000 to $500,000 have gone down by 14% compared with one year ago. Meanwhile, sales to first time buyers went down by 33% during the month, way below the 40% that is considered healthy by housing market analysts. In terms of prices, the median selling rate of homes sold during the month was up to $159,600 from last month.

However, the median rate for March 2011 was down by 5.9% compared with one year ago. Analysts stated that the year-over-year decline in prices has a lot to do with most buyers preferring to find bargain foreclosures and opting for houses that are priced below $100,000.