RealtyTrac Names 10 Best Beach Towns to Buy Foreclosures
By: Esther Cho
Looking for a beach home? Perhaps not, but according to a report released by RealtyTrac, certain beach towns offer sizeable discounts that make vacation dream homes seem a little bit more accessible. Using home sales prices for distressed properties in the first quarter of 2012, the real estate database company ranked the top 10 beach towns to buy foreclosures in its June 2012 Foreclosure News Report.
The number one beach spot as ranked by RealtyTrac was Vero Beach, Florida. Here, the average sales price of distressed homes was $93,188, which is 45 percent below the average sales price of non-distressed homes. RealtyTrac data shows that more than 21 percent of all real estate sales in the Sebastian-Vero Beach metropolitan area were properties in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned. Geographically, the town is located along the eastern part of the state and is 190 miles south of Jacksonville and 135 miles north of Miami.
The number two spot for beach town foreclosures was Corpus Christi, Texas, where distressed properties in the first quarter of 2012 averaged $78,851, a 44 percent discount. During the first quarter of 2012, 152 home sales were in some stage of foreclosure or bank owned in Corpus Christi. That number accounts for 11 percent of all real estate sales.
Naples-Marco Island, Florida ranked as the third best beach town. Homes are discounted about 40 percent below non-foreclosures, and on average, distressed homes sold for $156,148. The town also has a lot of vacancies. With 17,753 housing units, 42 percent, or 7,522, were vacant, according to 2010 Census Bureau data.
Santa Barbara, California took the number four spot. When averaging the price of the 537 foreclosure sales in the first quarter of 2012, homes sold for $274,077 on average which is a 38 percent discount. Census Bureau numbers reveal that in 2010, the city had 37,820 housing units, of which 35,449 were occupied and 21,665 of those occupied units housed renters.
Ranked at number five, Charleston, South Carolina averaged $159,065 for foreclosure sales in the first quarter of 2012, with 530 foreclosure-related sales during that time. Discounts in Charleston averaged 34 percent compared to non-foreclosures.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina was number six on the list. In the first quarter of 2012, 159 foreclosure-related sales took place. The average sales price for foreclosure-related sales was $202,454, a 31 percent discount compared to non-distressed transactions. According to the 2010 Census Bureau numbers, there were 33,306 housing units on the island and about half of them were vacant.
Atlantic City, New Jersey ranked number seven and averaged $161,819 for foreclosure-related sales during the first quarter of 2012. With 114 distressed sales during that same period, such transactions accounted for about 13 percent of all real estate sales. The average discount was about 31 percent discount.
Honolulu, Hawaii came in at number eight and had 140 foreclosure sales in the first quarter of this year. That number represents about 6 percent of all real estate sales. Distressed properties sold at an average discount of 30 percent at $345,799 in Honolulu.
Barnstable, Massachusetts ranked number nine. On average, distressed homes were discounted 30 percent and sold at an average price of $237,405. In Barnstable, 151 foreclosure-related sales took place, which is about 7 percent of all sales in the first quarter of 2012.
Santa Cruz, California was number ten and has a high percentage of foreclosure-related sales. In the first quarter of 2012, 39 percent of all residential sales in the city, or 326 properties, were distressed. The average sales price for foreclosures was $355,604, a 28 percent discount. According to RealtyTrac, there are also more renters than owners in the city, with renters occupying 12,282 units and owners occupying 9,375 out of 23,316 total housing units total.
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