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Foreclosure State

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The National Association of Realtors released their January home sales numbers today, reporting that sales were down 8.6 percent from January 2008. But look at the figures for the West: "Existing-home sales in the West were unchanged at an annual rate of 1.20 million in January and are 29.0 percent stronger than a year ago. The median price in the West was $220,000, which is 25.5 percent below January 2008." Which means? Our pocket of the country is snapping up distressed homes. Here's an example: In Santa Ana, California, 80 percent of all sales are either foreclosed properties or short sales, but in Chicago, less than 20 percent of sales are foreclosures or short sales. Nationwide, one of out four homes is listed as distressed, according to the NAR, which estimates that foreclosed or short sales made up nearly half of all January sales. [NAR]