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Data firms focus on key markets for distressed property investors

While distressed properties will likely always be available at a discount, the bigger challenge for investors is finding the right demographics of where those bargains are located.

There are clear distinctions in market behavior as well as trends in different geographies that will serve as guidelines for investors to identify areas offering the best opportunities.

DataQuick raises and answers the question 'Does the market still offer attractive distressed property investments' in its analyzing local markets report.

The real estate analytics firm focused on three local metropolitans across the nation and their behavior in the market.

In Maricopa County, AZ, discount rates fell dramatically over the past year to 41%, indicating fewer foreclosures than previously.

Additionally, San Bernardino County, Calif. had similar findings with the November distressed discount rate at 21% compared to 27% from the previous year.

In comparison, Broward County, Fla., discount rates rose by 5% over the past 12 months.

"This would appear to be a market with a recovery that’s been placed on hold and one where opportunity still exists," the report stated.

In general, South Florida appears to offer a greater chance for higher returns for distressed property investors.

Click on the table to view discount rates in select counties.

Similarly, RealtyTrac reported that Florida continues to lead the pack in terms of high foreclosure activity. 

The Sunshine State took eight of the top 20 slots on RealtyTrac’s list of metros with the highest foreclosure rates, indicating the state still offers attractive distressed property for investors. 

"The underlying fundamentals in many of those markets are slowly improving, making it an opportune time to absorb additional foreclosure inventory this year — and that is particularly good news for buyers and investors hungry for more inventory to purchase in those markets," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

Topping the list of the best places to buy foreclosures in 2013 was the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville metro area.

The area posted 34 months’ supply of inventory with foreclosure sales representing 24% of all sales. The average foreclosure discount was 28% and the area also posted a 308% increase in foreclosure activity in 2012 compared to 2011, the data firm posted.

Five other Florida cities also ranked among the Top 20 best places to buy foreclosures including Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

The other state that was listed as the best place to buy foreclosures for year was New York. 

Five cities ranked among the 20 best places, based largely on big backlogs of foreclosure inventory and big increases in foreclosure activity in 2012. Some of the cities listed were Albany, Rochester and Syracuse. 

Click on the list to view the top 20 best places to buy a foreclosure.

RealtyTrac also reported metros investors should avoid looking into when it comes to distressed properties, with McAllen, Texas leading the way.

The city had a 12-month supply of foreclosure inventory with foreclosure sales accounting for 7% of all sales. The average foreclosure discount was 21% and the city posted a 66% decrease in foreclosure activity this year compared to last year.

Other metros with the lowest scores were dominated by cities in the West including Las Vegas, Phoenix and Portland, Ore.

Click on the list to view the worst places to buy foreclosures in 2013. 

cmlynski@housingwire.com

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