Baltimore Edges San Francisco In Battle of Best Place to Buy a Foreclosure

For every football fan in America, the Super Bowl is the holy grail of sporting events. And with the Baltimore Ravens going against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII this Sunday — East Coast versus West Coast — the hype machine has been hitting the airwaves big time all week.

Between the Harbaugh brothers — Jim and John — whose team will emerge victorious at the end of the day? Which quarterback — Joe Flacco or Colin Kaepernick — will reign supreme? Which multi-million dollar television ad will come out the top vote getter? Who will be throwing the victory party — Baltimore or San Francisco? Will Ray Lewis finally put an exclamation point on his illustrious career by adding a Super Bowl ring to his trophy case?

These and other burning questions will be answered Sunday afternoon. But RealtyTrac has come up with a different twist on this historical clash of the gladiators. We’re wondering which team’s metropolitan area will be the best place to buy foreclosure properties in 2013 based on some key foreclosure metrics.

So even before we get to game day in New Orleans, using a rolling total to keep track, here’s our statistical analysis of which team should win the ‘Foreclosure’ Super Bowl in 2013:

Months’ Supply of Foreclosure Inventory: Ravens 1, 49ers 0
Based on the fact that the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont metro area has 54 percent more housing units than the Baltimore-Towson metro area, if we were to base our analysis strictly on sheer numbers of total foreclosure inventory alone, the West Coast team would win hands down. However, a truer measure when it comes to which metro would be a better place to buy foreclosures this year would be the months’ supply of foreclosure inventory available to homebuyers and investors. Looking at it from that perspective, the Baltimore metro area had a 16-month supply at year-end 2012 compared to a 10-month supply in the San Francisco metro area. Score one for the Ravens.

Baltimore Foreclosure For Sale

Built in 1920, this 4 bedroom, three bath home in the Windsor Hills area of Baltimore is located on a corner lot measuring 9,067 square feet.

The home features three fireplaces, an updated kitchen, a den and recreation room.

Listed for $170,000, the home went to auction with bidding starting on Jan. 9, 2013.
Bidding opened at $110,000.

Estimated value for the home is $189,959.

Percentage Change in Foreclosure Inventory: Ravens 2, 49ers 0

Although the Baltimore metro had about one-third as many properties with foreclosure filings for 2012, it is left with a longer months’ supply of inventory because foreclosure activity in the metro area increased 34.45 percent for the year. Considering that Maryland is a judicial foreclosure state still recovering from the delays caused by the robo-signing fiasco, it’s no wonder this is the case. On the other hand, the opposing team’s metro area is in California, which is a non-judicial foreclosure state where foreclosures get processed much faster. So it is no surprise that foreclosure activity in the San Francisco metro area decreased 30 percent last year. Another point for the Ravens.

Foreclosures as a Percentage of All Home Sales: Ravens 2, 49ers 1
This one is a no-brainer. Although new foreclosure activity in San Francisco is decreasing, it is one of the hardest-hit foreclosure states and still is going through the process of disposing of the distressed properties that resulted from the boom-bust real estate cycle of the past seven years. Furthermore, foreclosure sales in California have not been delayed by concerns over improper foreclosure procedures as they have in Maryland., All of that translates into only 8.72 percent of home sales in the Baltimore metro that were foreclosure sales in 2012 compared to 32.46 percent in the Bay Area. Score one for the Niners.

San Francisco Foreclosure For Sale

Built in 1939, this two bedroom, one bath San Francisco home is only 474 square feet. Located on a 2,705 square foot lot, the home features a one-car garage.

A bank-owned REO, the home was listed in January 2013 for $779,000. 

Estimated value of the home is $901,751.

Average Foreclosure Discount: Ravens 2, 49ers 2
The Bay Area is known for being a very expensive place to live. So it figures that if the prices are so high when the market is up, when the market crashes the downslide in prices should be greater. Although the market is starting to recover, compared to its East Coast counterpart the San Francisco metro had a significantly larger foreclosure discount percentage from market value — a 37.42 percent discount in the Baltimore’s metro versus a 47.40 percent discount in San Francisco’s metro. Score is tied.

Average Foreclosure Sales Price: Ravens 3, 49ers 2
Price is a huge factor when it comes to buying a property — foreclosure or traditional — whether the buyer is a homeowner looking for a principal residence, or an investor looking to buy and hold or possibly flip a property to another investor or a consumer. From this perspective Baltimore is far and away the more affordable place to live. In 2012 the average sales price for a foreclosure property in the Baltimore metro was $166,905 compared to $329,846 in the San Francisco metro. The deciding point breaking the tie goes to the Ravens for the more affordable place to buy this year.

At the end of the day, both metro areas are attractive places to live. In terms of which metro would be more attractive to homebuyers and investors for purchasing foreclosure properties in 2013, one has a slight advantage over the other.

Whether that has any bearing on the actual outcome of the big game is doubtful, but we thought it might be useful if you’re torn between which of these two great American cities to buy in this year.

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