Foreclosure Freeze Warms Fla. Home Sales

While the foreclosure freeze got attacked by many as being damaging to the housing market and to lenders, some home sellers actually benefited from the crisis. Those sales that were not foreclosures or short sales increased by 9.3 percent in the Tampa Bay, Fla.-area in October, according to real estate firm Home Encounter, which tracks sales data in the Tampa Bay area.

In contrast, foreclosure sales declined, also by 9.3 percent, as nearly 25 percent of Tampa Bay foreclosure properties were taken off the market due to the freeze. The likely reason: When lenders halted foreclosure cases to re-examine faulty paperwork, sales of conventional homes suddenly had less competition.

Unfortunately the surge in conventional home sales did not include a rise in conventional home prices, which dropped 2.2 percent compared to the previous October's figures.

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