(CBS News) – Foreclosures aren’t as big a part of the housing market as they were just after the recession, but they’re still a sizable portion of homes sold across the U.S.

Housing data site RealtyTrac found that sales of properties in foreclosure are down from a year ago to multi-year lows, while year-to-date U.S. home sales in 2015 are at an eight-year high. The sale of properties sold while in the foreclosure process (not including bank-owned properties) accounted for 6.4 percent of all single family and condo sales in July, down from 6.6 percent of all sales in June and down from 8.0 percent in July 2014.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors found that distressed properties — including both foreclosures and short sales — declined to 7 percent of all homes in July from 8 percent in June and 9 percent a year ago. Some 5 percent of July sales were foreclosures, and 2 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 17 percent below market value in July (15 percent in June), while short sales were discounted 12 percent (18 percent in June). Comparatively speaking, that isn’t such a bad thing.

“Five years ago, distressed sales represented 33 percent of the market in July,” said Chris Polychron, president of the National Association of Realtors and executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Arkansas. “For many previously distressed homeowners throughout the country, rising home values in recent years have helped recover equity and the vast improvement in several local job markets means fewer are falling behind on their mortgage payments.”


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