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Foreclosed Sales at U.S. Auctions Double as Prices Gain

Purchases of foreclosed homes at auctions jumped last month as banks benefited from surging prices and shunned approvals of sales by homeowners dumping their dwellings at a loss.

In October, about 20 percent of repossessed properties sold at U.S. auctions compared with 15 percent in July, said Daren Blomquist, vice president of Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac. Auction deals accounted for 2.5 percent of all U.S. sales in October, almost doubling from a year earlier. Short sales, in which banks agree to accept less than is owed on the property, comprised 5.3 percent of purchases, falling from 11 percent, data company RealtyTrac said in a report today.