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Foreclosure purchases increase slightly during first quarter

Foreclosures accounted for 28 percent of all home sales during the first quarter of 2011.

Foreclosures accounted for 28 percent of all home sales during the first quarter of 2011.

RealtyTrac recently released its latest data that discovered that foreclosure activity increased slightly during the first quarter of 2011.

According to the company's report, distressed property sales accounted for 28 percent of all home transactions during 2011's first several months. During the fourth quarter of 2010, the figure was slightly lower, at 27 percent. Overall, the first quarter's foreclosure activity is the highest its been since the first quarter of 2010, when 29 percent of all home sales involved distressed properties.

"While foreclosure sales continue to account for an unusually high percentage of all residential home sales, sales volume is well off the peak we saw in the first quarter of 2009, when nearly 350,000 foreclosure properties sold to third parties,” James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, relayed. "While this is probably helping to keep home prices relatively stable, it is also delaying the housing recovery."

The median home prices for distressed properties declined during the first quarter, moving down 1.89 percent quarter-over-quarter and 1.46 percent year-over-year.

In all, 158,434 bank-owned properties were purchased by third parties throughout the first three months, which is 16 percent fewer than 2010's fourth quarter and 36 percent year-over-year.