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Foreclosure Homes Rise to 24% of Purchases as Short Sales Jump

U.S. homes in or nearing foreclosure accounted for almost a fourth of residential purchases in the last three months of 2011 as lenders approved more short sales, where the price is less than the amount owed.

Deals for bank-owned and distressed properties rose to 24 percent of total home sales from 20 percent in the third quarter, according to RealtyTrac Inc. The transactions fell from 26 percent a year earlier, the Irvine, California-based data seller said today in a statement.