The latest stats from both Hampton Road and MRIS have two pieces of good news.

First, the total share of distressed properties in both markets has dropped significantly in the past year.

MRIS saw distressed property sales go from 29.8% of the market in May 2011 to 22.1% a year later. In Hampton Roads, distressed sales dropped from 31% to 26.3% year to year.

That’s total distressed sales. But when you split the number into short sales and foreclosures, you find that foreclosures dropped dramatically, while short sales actually rose slightly.

Why is that good? Because short sales are better for everyone.

  • They don’t add yet more REO to the market.
  • They don’t do as much damage to the owner’s credit.
  • They get more money for the lender.
  • They don’t hurt neighborhood property values nearly as much.

Further, the rise in the number indicates that the process is getting streamlined — good news for Realtors.

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