Foreclosures Are A Drag On U.S. Housing Prices

RealtyTrac announced Thursday that buyers got an average discount of 28 percent on foreclosed homes compared to similar properties. The price gap is a percent higher than it was the year before. RealtyTrac says the bargains are expected to continue because more foreclosures are expected this year.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with the price of foreclosures.

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INSKEEP: Foreclosures keep dragging down housing prices here in the United States. RealtyTrac, which keeps tabs on this, said today that buyers got an average discount of 28 percent on foreclosed homes compared to similar properties. The price gap is one percent higher than it was even the year before, and of course when a foreclosed home is sold cheaply, it affects the value of the house next door.

RealtyTrac says the bargains are expected to continue because more foreclosures are expected this year. Many banks halted foreclosures late last year, amid allegations that they were not following proper procedures in taking back homes.

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