The percentage of distressed property sales was down 8.1% from January 2011 to January 2012, according to numbers from MRIS, which covers a large portion of Virginia.

“Distressed sales” includes short sales and foreclosures, and those each told a slightly different story. Foreclosures (as a percentage of the total) were down 9.8% January to January, but short sales were up 1.7%.

Still, with traditional sales having made up two-thirds of the market, that’s good news in general. although the potential increase in foreclosures down the pike (the emergence of the “shadow inventory”) will probably have this chart looking a bit different in a few months.

(c) VAR

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