20 Most Expensive and Cheapest Markets for Foreclosures

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Cheapest foreclosures: Flint, Mich.

There's a reason it's often the privileged who are flitting off to beach homes along the sandy coast of California: It's really expensive to own a home near the ocean. (Location, location, location comes with a high price, after all.) So you think you'd be able to afford the same lifestyle if you bought a beachside foreclosure instead? Well, sure, it'd be cheaper -- but it'll still cost you double or more the national median home price.

Yes, foreclosures are often sold at deep discounts, but in the most expensive markets for foreclosures, the money you'd spend on a distressed property could probably buy two non-distressed properties in most other markets. Online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac highlighted the priciest and cheapest markets for foreclosures. According to RealtyTrac's Foreclosure Market Report, foreclosure-related sales accounted for 21 percent of all residential sales in 2012, a drop from 23 percent in 2011 and 28 percent in 2010. A tighter inventory nationwide has contributed to the decline, and a tighter inventory also drives prices up -- even for foreclosures.

"Location definitely matters in real estate, and many people want to live near the ocean, particularly the coast of California and Hawaii," said RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist. "With fewer and fewer foreclosures available in these highly desirable areas, the average price of a foreclosure property is increasing rapidly, although still well below the average price of a non-distressed property given that foreclosures are often in poorer condition and are being sold by more motivated sellers."

So, then, where are the cheapest foreclosures? Go inland. "Population is still dwindling in many Rust Belt markets, which is why those markets dominate the list of least expensive foreclosures," Blomquist said. "Another reason for lower-priced foreclosures in these markets is the type of properties that are in foreclosure. Many foreclosures in these Rust Belt cities are much smaller in terms of square footage, and older in terms of year built, than the foreclosure inventory in the Western markets."

The median home sale price nationwide for all housing types in January was $173,600, according to the National Association of Realtors. The most expensive markets for foreclosures can see prices for distressed properties more than double that, while the cheapest markets can see prices of distressed properties more than half that. Click through the gallery below to see the 10 most expensive and 10 cheapest cities for foreclosures.

21 PHOTOS
Cities With the Priciest and Cheapest Foreclosures
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20 Most Expensive and Cheapest Markets for Foreclosures

Average foreclosure sale price: $338,509
Average discount: 37.13%
Number of foreclosure sales: 493
Percent of all sales: 31.79%

Find foreclosures for sale in Santa Maria, Calif., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/jbcurio

Average foreclosure sale price: $345,440
Average discount: 26.28%
Number of foreclosure sales: 4,142
Percent of all sales: 32.19%

Find foreclosures for sale in San Diego, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/Andre S. Ribeiro

Average foreclosure sale price: $349,469
Average discount: 25.65%
Number of foreclosure sales: 170
Percent of all sales: 25.41%

Find foreclosures for sale in Napa, Calif., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/jimg944

Average foreclosure sale price: $352,368
Average discount: 21.18%
Number of foreclosure sales: 318
Percent of all sales: 24.63%

Find foreclosures for sale in Paso Robles, Calif., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/kla4067

Average foreclosure sale price: $354,136
Average discount: 35.54%
Number of foreclosure sales: 13,986
Percent of all sales: 33.16%

Find foreclosures for sale in Los Angeles, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/adamfarnsworth

Average foreclosure sale price: $359,105
Average discount: 33.09%
Number of foreclosure sales: 245
Percent of all sales: 23.97%

Find foreclosures for sale in Santa Cruz, Calif., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/Ed Bierman

Average foreclosure sale price: $361,813
Average discount: 20.15%
Number of foreclosure sales: 1,098
Percent of all sales: 34.79%

Find foreclosures for sale in Oxnard, Calif., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/Clotee Pridgen Allochuku

Average foreclosure sale price: $369,343
Average discount: 43.56%
Number of foreclosure sales: 4,732
Percent of all sales: 27.02%

Find foreclosures for sale in San Francisco, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/DominusVobiscum

Average foreclosure sale price: $461,089
Average discount: 35.69%
Number of foreclosure sales: 1,438
Percent of all sales: 21.81%

Find foreclosures for sale in San Jose, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/four years

Average foreclosure sale price: $463,567
Average discount: 15.88%
Number of foreclosure sales: 202
Percent of all sales: 6.74%

Find foreclosures for sale in Honolulu, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/lrargerich

Average foreclosure sale price: $62,469
Average discount: 24.22%
Number of foreclosure sales: 157
Percent of all sales: 22.36%

Find foreclosures for sale in Sebring, Fla., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Average foreclosure sale price: $62,431
Average discount: 18.74%
Number of foreclosure sales: 185
Percent of all sales: 25.8%

Find foreclosures for sale in Muskegon, Mich., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/Jim_W

Average foreclosure sale price: $60,781
Average discount: 36.63%
Number of foreclosure sales: 750
Percent of all sales: 37.06%

Find foreclosures for sale in Flint, Mich., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Average foreclosure sale price: $59,584
Average discount: 56.08%
Number of foreclosure sales: 114
Percent of all sales: 9.56%

Find foreclosures for sale in Beaumont, Texas, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/Patrick Feller

Average foreclosure sale price: $57,278
Average discount: 47.28%
Number of foreclosure sales: 628
Percent of all sales: 28.06%

Find foreclosures for sale in Toledo, Ohio, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Average foreclosure sale price: $56,832
Average discount: 51.87%
Number of foreclosure sales: 754
Percent of all sales: 24.44%

Find foreclosures for sale in Dayton, Ohio, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/Uriel 1998

Average foreclosure sale price: $56,589
Average discount: 38.57%
Number of foreclosure sales: 242
Percent of all sales: 30.33%

Find foreclosures for sale in Saginaw, Mich., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/Paragon Apartments

Average foreclosure sale price: $55,412
Average discount: 40.2%
Number of foreclosure sales: 137
Percent of all sales: 24.55%

Find foreclosures for sale in Springfield, Ohio, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Average foreclosure sale price: $50,633
Average discount: 44.8%
Number of foreclosure sales: 108
Percent of all sales: 26.67%

Find foreclosures for sale in Lima, Ohio, or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Average foreclosure sale price: $42,918
Average discount: 60.19%
Number of foreclosure sales: 125
Percent of all sales: 8.07%

Find foreclosures for sale in Scranton, Pa., or search foreclosure listings in your area.

Photo: Flickr/genvessel

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