LAS VEGAS -- Residential foreclosure sales in Nevada dropped sharply in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2011, but the state still ranks high in such activity, RealtyTrac reported Wednesday night.
There were 5,560 foreclosure-related sales in Nevada from July through September, down 51 percent from a year ago and 6.6 percent from the second quarter of this year. The Las Vegas metro area, with 4,650 foreclosure sales, also witnessed declines of 52.7 percent from the third quarter of 2011 and 6.6 percent from April through June of 2012.
In contrast, foreclosure sales nationwide rose 20.7 percent from the second to third quarters of 2012 and were down only 2.9 percent from the third quarter of 2011.
But foreclosure sales still made up 30.7 percent of all residential sales in Nevada in the third quarter of 2012, fourth highest nationally behind Georgia (38.4 percent), California (35.9 percent) and Arizona (34.2 percent). In Las Vegas, foreclosure sales made up 31.9 percent of all residential sales from July through September. Foreclosure sales represented 19.5 percent of all home sales nationally in the third quarter.
Average foreclosure sales prices for the third quarter were $137,247 in Las Vegas, $139,301 statewide and $177,430 nationally, according to the Irvine, Calif., foreclosure-tracking company.
Compared to the third quarter of 2011, those prices were up 13.1 percent, 12.5 percent and 3.5 percent respectively.
RealtyTrac also estimated from partial data that non-foreclosure short sales rose by 172 percent in Las Vegas and 140 percent statewide in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, and that such activity made up 32 percent of all residential sales from July through September.
"The shift toward earlier disposition of distressed properties continued in the third quarter as both lenders and at-risk homeowners are realizing that short sales are often a better alternative than foreclosure," RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said. "However, the scheduled expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act at the end of this year could stifle this trend toward short sales.
"If that law expires as scheduled, homeowners who agree to a short sale could see their income tax jump significantly because the portion of the unpaid loan balance not covered by the short sale proceeds will be considered taxable income in many cases."