A dollar can't get you much these days, but a penny is apparently enough to put down a bid on a home.
Each bid rises by a penny, and as of Tuesday morning the highest bid for the home was $2.42. Though there are already penny auctions for electronic and other consumer goods, this appears to be the first penny auction for a house, according to ABC News.
All that said, bidders do have to pay 60 cents every time they make a bid, which is how Todd Talbot, the owner of the home, is making money on the auction, according to ABC 15, a local ABC affiliate.
The penny auction is just one extreme consequence of a foreclosure crisis weighing on home values everywhere. Foreclosures accounted for about one-quarter of all home sales at the end of 2011, according to RealtyTrac. Today, roughly one in five homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, according to CoreLogic.
Partly as a result of the foreclosure crisis, the nation's housing prices have yet to bottom out. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices fell in December for the eighth consecutive month to a low not seen since early 2003.
The foreclosure crisis has hit particularly hard in Arizona -- the site of the penny auction -- where the housing boom and bust were deeper than in many other states. Thirty-eight percent of all home sales at the end of 2011 were foreclosure-related, according to RealtyTrac, and 48 percent of all Arizona homeowners with mortgages are underwater on their mortgages, according to CoreLogic.
Talbot said he bought the house he's now auctioning for $81,000 in a foreclosure sale in January, according to ABC News. He spent another $20,000 on renovating the house. He doesn't expect to sell the home for less than $2,750.
The 1,749-square-foot home has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fireplace, and a garage. The auction ends on Tuesday evening.
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