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5 Cities Where Houses Are Still Cheap

Buyers have been rushing into Phoenix in search of big deals. Short-sale purchases increased 43% during the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with a year prior, according to RealtyTrac. It’s not just investors who are behind the trend. Owner occupants are also competing for these properties. Given the competition, experts say, buyers looking to pick up a short sale will have a better shot if they come to the table with an all-cash offer.

But real-estate agents warn that the window of opportunity to snatch up distressed properties at real discounts is closing. Short-sale inventory is falling: There are currently 3,700 short-sale listings in Phoenix, down 56% from a year ago and down 76% from two years prior, says Brian North, cofounder of Green Street Realty, a boutique brokerage in Phoenix that specializes in short sales.

And buyers are more likely to encounter bidding wars, which will likely drive the purchase price up, he says. They should consider how much work the property will need in repairs to make sure that the short sale will be cheaper than buying a regular listing.

 

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Marketwatch

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