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1/3 of home sales in Michigan in 2012 were 'short sales'

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan nearly lead the nation in ‘short sales’ last year.

The head of the state’s realtors’ association says that’s a positive sign for home sales in 2013.

Realty Trac reports 33% of homes sold in Michigan last year were short sales. Alabama lead the nation with 34% of its home sales coming through short sales.

A ‘short sale’ is when a bank agrees to let a home sell for less than what’s owed on the mortgage.

Short sales in Michigan have surged in recent years, as banks have struggled to unload a backlog of foreclosed homes.

Carol Griffith is the president-elect of the Michigan Association of Realtors. She says realtors prefer short sales on homes that are occupied over foreclosure sales of empty homes.

“Typically it’s in a little bit more marketable condition…or a better condition than a foreclosure,” says Griffith,  “We find that in the foreclosure homes…the seller when they leave, they are not happy. They are disappointed. They don’t exactly vacuum on the way out.”

Griffith says home sale prices are inching up in Michigan and she credits the rise of short sales for part of the increase.

Michigan banks are still unloading a backlog of foreclosed homes.

About 30% of the homes sold in Michigan in 2012 were foreclosures, according to Realty Trac.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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