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Foreclosure activity improves in third quarter


In the third quarter, there more than 193,000 properties in some stage of the foreclosure process.

Following the real estate bubble burst, the foreclosure rate surged throughout the country. But as the housing market builds momentum, the home repossession rates declined in the third quarter this year.

During the three-month period, there were more than 193,000 properties in some stage of the foreclosure process, according to a report from RealtyTrac. Although this may seem like a large amount, it was actually a 3 percent improvement on an annual basis.

"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," said RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist.

Short sales have become an increasingly popular option for both distressed borrowers and lenders. Not only are they less financially damaging to a consumer, but it also costs a financial institution for upkeep when the property is empty.

By the end of the third quarter, short sales increased 15 percent from the previous three-month period and accounted for roughly 22 percent of all residential sales, the report said.

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