According to data from the Northern Nevada Regional MLS, sales in the Sparks area (which includes Spanish Springs and Wingfield Springs) had short sales leading in the 3rd Quarter of 2010.  Short sales accouted for 35.4% of the sales in the quarter, traditional sales 34.9% and bank owned 29.8%.  Compared to 3rd Q 2009 when bank owned sales topped the charts at 41.43%, traditional sales at 26.7% and short sales at 26.5%

The total number of sales for the Sparks area  (MLS area 108) dropped slightly from 2009 to 2010, down about 6.1%.  In addition, the median price also fell from $170,000 in 3rd Q 2009 to $160,700 in 3rd Q 2010, a drop of 5.5%. 

There are currently (as of 10-22-2010) 568 active listings available to buyers in the Sparks area market.  Of these 48.6% are short sales, 34.4% are traditional sales and 16.9% are bank owned.  Key here for buyers is to make sure you have a buyer’s agent working for you that knows the ins and outs of short sales – doing your homework before making an offer on a short sale is key.

Bank owned properties continued to earn the highest list to sale price ratio.  In 3rd Q 2010 bank owned lisitngs got an average of 99.6% of the asking price, short sales 98.9% and traditional sales 97.4%.  Fewer foreclosed properties at low prices, continued mis-understanding of short sales and over-priced traditional listings drive these numbers.

As expected short sales have the highest average number of days on market.  For 3rd Q 2010 short sales averaged 184 days on market, bank owned 79 and traditional sales 77.   As a note the average number of days to close a short sale is relatively the same between 2009 and 2010.  We keep being told by the banks that they are improving their processes.  Hopefully this will reflect soon in our average days to close a short sale.

According to a report on 10-20-2010 more than 55% of the active mortgages in the Reno-Sparks area are upside down.  I think we will continue to see more and more short sales as homeowners become more educated about short sales as an option to foreclosure.  The key is making sure that you select an agent that is highly skilled in the short sale areana and get legal and tax advice as well.