Salient to Investors:

RealtyTrac said foreclosure sales fell 22 percent in Q1 from a year earlier as rising prices reduced the incentive to sell for owners underwater

Daren Blomquist at RealtyTrac said rising prices take away the urgency from banks and homeowners from having to do a short sale. Blomquist said for metropolitan areas with populations of more than 500,000, Stockton, CA led in distressed sales at 44 percent, followed Modesto, CA at 41 percent, Atlanta at 38 percent, Chicago at 35 percent, and Orlando, Florida, and Sacramento, California, both at 30 percent

States with the highest proportion of distressed sales included Georgia at 35 percent, Illinois at 32 percent, California at 30 percent, and Arizona and Michigan, both at 28 percent.

S&P/Case-Shiller indicates US home values rose 10.9 percent in the 12 months through March, the most in 7 years and versus a 9.4 percent gain in February – all 20 cities in the gauge had year-over-year price increases.

Brian Jones at Societe Generale said low interest rates, scarce inventory, and rising consumer confidence are helping fuel a continued, gradual recovery in housing.

Foreclosure-related properties sold for an average discount of 30 percent to non-distressed properties in Q1.

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