Home foreclosures move up-market as discounting pushes prices down


A greater number of foreclosures are hitting the high-end real estate markets in 2009 as price discounting continues to throw more and more properties underwater. It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy: As some homeowners see their homes' values drop below the balances due on their mortgages, they give up trying to save their homes.

Zillow's chief economist, Stan Humphries, found that while high-end markets accounted for only 16 percent of foreclosures in 2006, by July 2009, 30 percent of foreclosures hit the top third of homes. "That means that top-tier homes make up almost twice the proportion of foreclosures as they did just three years ago," Humphries wrote on his blog.