The number of short sales in the US has risen dramatically in the past several years as home values have fallen below the amount of the mortgage on the property in many situations. This is especially true in markets where there was a tremendous escalation of real estate prices and banks created numerous mortgages based on these overinflated values. Now that prices have plummeted from these unsustainable highs, the lenders are trying to cut their losses and allow borrowers to payoff their mortgage for a lesser amount If they can arrange a sale of the property to another buyer. The lender still has to approve the price for the transaction to finalize.

The states with the most short sales are where speculators had driven up prices to unsustainable levels.

The 5 states with the highest number of short sales in the first quarter of 2012 were:

California 34,029

Florida 15,949

Arizona 9,454

Georgia 6,126

Nevada 5,282

If you have been following the news in recent years, then you aware that the most overblown real estate ‘boom and bust’ localities correspond with the metropolitan areas which now have the largest number of distressed property sales. Southern California, Southern Florida, Phoenix, Atlanta, and Las Vegas all topped the lists for greatest appreciation during the boom times and the largest percentage declines after the bubble had burst.

Although these states have the largest number of short sales taking place, there are opportunities to buy short sales all across the country. Lenders are more willing to set a realistic value on properties, making it easier to complete a short sale transaction. If you are in the market for a new home, contact your local short sale experts to begin your search. They will guide you through the process to help you find the home of your dreams at a truly affordable price.