Unfortunately for those concerned that foreclosures are driving down home values, there doesn't seem to be any slowdown in the glut of distressed properties on the market, according to a new survey.

According to the latest data from RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosed properties, 26% of sales during the first quarter of 2012 were for homes in some stage of foreclosure. Short sales also hit a three-year high during that period.

Several states had foreclosure sales rates far exceeding the national average. More than half of all sales in Nevada -- 56% -- were for homes in some stage of foreclosure. In California and Georgia, nearly half of all home sales in the first quarter were foreclosures at 47% and 46%, respectively.

Foreclosure sales increase, prices decrease

The number of foreclosed homes sold during the first quarter of 2012 represents a 4% increase from the previous quarter.

At the same time, the average price of foreclosed properties dropped 1% from the previous quarter. During the first three months of 2012, foreclosed or bank-owned properties sold for an average of $161,214. That is 27% less than the average price of homes that were not in foreclosure or banked-owned.

Overall, 21 states saw a quarterly increase in the number of bank-owned sales. The following states had the largest percentage increase in these sales for the first quarter of 2012:

  1. Oregon: 41%
  2. North Carolina: 23%
  3. Ohio: 21%
  4. Florida: 13%
  5. Wisconsin: 13%

Short sales up 25% from last year

While foreclosures continue to make up a significant portion of home sales, it appears more homeowners are using pre-foreclosure sales to avoid bank repossession. Commonly completed as short sales, these transactions accounted for 12% of all home sales during the first quarter of 2012. That number is up from 9% during the first quarter of 2011 and represents a three-year high for short sales.

Twenty-seven states saw in an increase in short sales and other pre-foreclosure transactions. The following are the states with the greatest percentage increase in these sales as compared to the previous year:

  1. Wisconsin: 94%
  2. Michigan: 81%
  3. Georgia: 80%
  4. Texas: 46%
  5. Illinois: 46%

Homes sold in pre-foreclosure sales had an average price of $175,461. Although higher than the average price for foreclosure sales, the average price for short sales lagged 21% behind that for non-foreclosure homes. It also represents the lowest average quarterly price recorded for short sales since RealtyTrac first started its reporting in 2005.

The original article can be found at Money-Rates.com:
Foreclosures account for 1 in 4 home sales