Number of foreclosed homes being sold in Las Vegas continues to fall

An aerial view of homes in the southwest part of the Las Vegas Valley taken from a helicopter May 21, 2012.

The volume of debt-laden homes being sold in foreclosure in Las Vegas continues to plunge.

Nearly 8,200 homes were sold through foreclosure in Clark County in the three months ending June 30, according to a new report from Irvine, Calif.-based research firm RealtyTrac. That was down 33 percent from 12,220 during the same period last year.

And foreclosures made up only 45 percent of all sales in Clark County during the same three-month period, down from 51 percent a year ago.

Foreclosure sales also are falling statewide and nationally, RealtyTrac said. There were 9,657 foreclosures in Nevada during the second quarter, down 33 percent from 14,306 a year earlier. Across the United States, there were 224,429 foreclosures in the second quarter, down 22 percent from 288,075 the year before.

In Nevada, the falling figures can be attributed in large part to the state’s “robo-signing” law that took effect last October. Under the law, banks can start foreclosure proceedings only after filing a signed affidavit that says the lender has firsthand knowledge of the mortgage documents.

Nearly 70 percent of valley homeowners are underwater, meaning they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. And more than half of all local home purchases now are made with cash, typically by out-of-town investors who are trying to buy cheap homes in bulk to rent them out.

Supply is low and prices are rising in one of the hardest-hit real estate markets in the country.

Homes prices in the valley jumped 1.5 percent in June from the previous month, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. That followed a 1.9 percent jump in May from April.

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