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Top foreclosure bargain cities

By Polyana da Costa ·
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Posted: 2 pm ET

Want to buy a home for half the price? Move to Milwaukee.

No? How about Philadelphia or Boston?

Bank-owned homes in these three metro areas sold with an average discount of more than 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. That's compared to the price of nonforeclosure homes that sold during that period, according to RealtyTrac.

10 metro areas with the biggest discounts on bank-owned homes

Among metro areas with at least 500 real estate-owned sales during the fourth quarter and where REO sales increased at least 5 percent from a year ago, the following posted the biggest discounts on sales of bank-owned properties.
Metro area Average foreclosure
sales price
Average discount
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. $77,592 57.90 percent
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. $109,878 52.51 percent
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H. $181,149 50.92 percent
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. $118,278 49.71 percent
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. $95,321 48.12 percent
Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa. $88,393 46.36 percent
Cincinnati-Middletown, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. $81,065 42.43 percent
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. $193,993 40.27 percent
Nashville/Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn. $124,384 38.71 percent
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. $139,642 31.01 percent
Source: RealtyTrac's Q4 and year-end 2011 U.S. foreclosure sales report.

Even if you are not willing to move to one of these areas, you still have plenty of options to snag a foreclosure bargain.

On average, 1 in every 4 homes sold in the fourth quarter was in foreclosure or bank-owned, according to the RealtyTrac report. The homes sold for an average discount of about 35 percent during that period. And that's not about to change anytime soon.

"We expect to see foreclosure-related sales increase in 2012, particularly pre-foreclosure sales, as lenders start to more aggressively dispose of distressed assets held up by the mortgage servicing gridlock over the past 18 months, says RealtyTrac's chief executive officer, Brandon Moore.

If you are thinking about buying a foreclosure, you must read these 5 tips on how to get a good deal on a foreclosure.

Follow me on Twitter@Polyanad

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