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Charlotte foreclosure market cut in half over the past year

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TWC News: Charlotte foreclosure market cut in half over the past year
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CHARLOTTE - The number of foreclosures on the market in Charlotte this summer is half of what it was a year ago, according to the president of the Charlotte Regional Realtors Association.

The numbers mean more options for buyers and sellers and it's a trend real estate agents see across the state.

"We're starting to stabilize the market again," said Jennifer Frontera with the Charlotte Regional Realtor's Association.

Part of stabilizing the market is getting foreclosed homes off of banks' balance sheets.

"For the banks, it's dead weight," said Brandon Wright, a spokesman for the North Carolina Bankers Association.

The association launched a new website, REOdeedwagon.com , to help reduce the inventory. The site lists more than 300 bank-owned properties, known as REO homes. Wright is working to get more banks on board.

We saw a need for getting this property moved back to the consumer," said Wright.

When buyers scoop up good deals on foreclosures, it frees up capital the banks can use for other loans. There are more than 19,000 North Carolina homes in foreclosure, according to the latest numbers from RealtyTrac. Mecklenburg County has the most, followed by Wake, Guilford, Forsyth, and Union counties.

"That only makes sense because of the growth we had," said Frontera.

The Realtors Association said far fewer sales this summer are foreclosures, which means buyers have more options and sellers can ask for higher prices.

"I think as long as that thought is in some consumer's mind that there's more coming, the price might keep dropping, they might wait," said Frontera.

The faster buyers and sellers act, bankers and Realtors agree, the faster the market could fully recover.

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