Sales of distressed homes in the Tampa Bay area fell 12 percent in the last quarter of 2011, but were still up slightly for the entire year.
It's another sign that the area's housing comeback is slow and rocky.
Homes in some stage of foreclosure made up 20 percent of all sales in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area during the year, according to California-based RealtyTrac, which tracks distressed sales.
There were 15,280 distressed sales in the region during 2011.
The average sales price was $96,000, and buyers received, on average, a discount of 25 percent if they chose to buy a distressed home. That discount is about the same as buyers received the previous year.
"Sales of foreclosures in the fourth quarter continued to be slowed by questions surrounding proper foreclosure paperwork and procedures," said Brandon Moore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.
Even so, Moore said, he expects to see foreclosure-related sales increase in 2012, particularly pre-foreclosure sales often known as short sales. That's because lenders are starting to move more aggressively to dispose of distressed assets.
Nationwide, bank-owned homes accounted for 24 percent of all residential sales during the fourth quarter. That's up from 20 percent of all sales in the previous quarter.