I got to wondering today whether more short sales are closing and thought I would share some interesting data I found. All data is per MRIS as of today.
Number of active listings designated "potential" short sales in NoVA* = 607 (# in Arlington = 57)
Number of short sales that have closed in NoVA in past 30 days = 199 (# in Arlington = 7)
Close Price to Last List Price Ratio for Short Sales that Closed = $302,258/$306,505 = 98.6%
Average Days on Market (Property) of Short Sales that Closed = 83 (Highest was 631 days). Note this represents the number of days until they got an offer, NOT the number of days that it took for the bank to approve the transaction. A quick look at the listings that closed in the past 30 days showed "contract dates" of as far back as November 2008, but most seemed to have been put under contract in the March-April-May 2009 timeframe, meaning about 3 month waiting period for bank approval and settlement. As a point of comparison, "regular" contracts tend to settle about 30-45 days after the contract date.
* NoVA = Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Fairfax City, Falls Church City
I have to say that I was surprised that so many short sales closed in the past 30 days. I went back for a few months to spot check and the average seems to be roughly 200-250 closing each month going back to this Spring. This data leads me to believe that not only are banks approving more and more short sales, but they've gotten more efficient at that approval process.
Buyers, short sales are certainly not without their own risks, delays, and headaches, but maybe it's time to put them back on your shopping list.