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Foreclosed homes draw crowd, but more investors than homeowners

Clay Barbour Mooresville Tribune
Foreclosed homes draw crowd, but more investors than homeowners - Foreclosed House - Housing Crisis - United States - Real Estate

The deals came fast Saturday as more than 500 homes across the Carolinas went on sale for bargain prices that, in some cases, amounted to less than half their previous asking prices.

More than 1,000 people packed a hall at the Metrolina Expo in Charlotte for a relatively new trend in disposing of foreclosed homes: the mega-auction.

For more than two hours they listened and watched as one property after the next appeared on the screen behind the auctioneer, carrying a previous asking price and a minimum bid.

A few of those in the hall were in the market for a new home. Most, however, were real estate investors hoping to find something they could flip one day.

Many did exactly that, coming away with houses for a fraction of their previous price. Some high-dollar homes went for as little as one-third.

But one person's deal is another's nightmare. And for some at the auction, the bargain-basement prices struck an alarming chord.

"This is scary," said Carol Laney, a Lake Norman real estate agent. "This tells you what shape the market is in. People are out there looking for deals, and they're not willing to pay much."

Statewide, foreclosure filings last year were up 8.7percent over 2007, according to an Observer analysis.


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