One man’s foreclosure pain is another’s gain.
Across the country, the foreclosure crisis has been bad news for the housing market, homeowners and the economy at large, but if you’re a prospective homebuyer, America's glut of foreclosures can mean serious bargains in some cities.
In fact, a variety of metropolitan areas are now offering the best deals on foreclosed homes, according to real estate site RealtyTrac's list. As it turns out, many of the cities that have been most affected by the foreclosure crisis, such as Detroit and Las Vegas, don’t necessarily translate into a strong market for foreclosed homes, often because homes prices in those cities continue to fall.
Instead, RealtyTrac only included metropolitan areas where at least 200 foreclosed homes had been sold in January with an average discount of 30 percent or more (on average, foreclosed homes sell at a 20 percent discount). The proportion of foreclosure sales is now at its lowest point since December, after peaking at 37.4 percent in 2009, UPI reports.
And with home prices falling as much as 50 percent in some areas, according to RealtyTrac, buying a home is cheaper than renting in 98 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, according to one recent study.
As a result, big banks and smaller investment firms alike are scooping up foreclosed homes by the hundreds with the hope of making some big bucks by becoming landlords. Over the next year turning foreclosed homes into rentals could become a $100 billion business, according to an estimate from real estate tracker Trulia.
Check out which cities offer the best deals on foreclosed homesbelow: