From yesterday’s Kansas City Star…
By ALEX VEIGA
AP Real Estate Writer
LOS ANGELES — Sales of bank-owned homes have plunged to a 5-year low, the latest evidence that the nation’s foreclosure woes are easing as the U.S. housing market recovery gains momentum.
For the January-March quarter, sales of bank-owned homes fell 16 percent from the previous three months and were down 23 percent versus the first quarter of 2012, foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.
The last time sales of bank-owned homes were lower was in the first quarter of 2008, the firm said.
Sales of homes in a stage of the foreclosure process also declined, falling 20 percent from the October-December quarter and the first quarter of last year.
Combined, bank-owned homes and properties already in the foreclosure process also accounted for a smaller share of U.S. home sales in the first quarter. They made up 21 percent of all home sales, down from 25 percent in the first three months of 2012, RealtyTrac said.