Homebuyer Interest in Foreclosures

The stigma associated with foreclosure purchases has apparently faded, with interest in foreclosures nearly tripling in the past two years, according to a survey released Wednesday by Realtor.com

The survey, conducted over 1,004 phone interviews at the beginning of May, suggested that homebuyer interest in foreclosures has jumped 159 percent since October 2009, when foreclosures made up 29 percent of all home sales. Nearly two-thirds (64.9 percent) of homebuyers surveyed said they’re likely to purchase a foreclosure, a huge increase from 25.3 percent two and a half years ago. The vast majority of buyers said they would want to live in their foreclosure purchase, with 92.1 percent looking for a home to live in and only 6.9 percent looking for foreclosure investments. “We see a combination of factors coming into play explaining the unexpected interest in foreclosures,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Realtor.com operator Move, Inc. “Reductions in supply, expectations that home prices will rise, and changing attitudes towards foreclosures are contributing to the increased, especially among owner-occupants. As lenders begin processing their distressed inventories and releasing them for sale at the local level, we look to them to move carefully and monitor conditions so recently gained home values aren’t diminished

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