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5 Best Places to Buy Foreclosures in 2013

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Homebuyers and real estate investors who swoop in to certain foreclosure-wracked U.S. markets this year could find discounts of 40% or more, a RealtyTrac study predicts.

"I don't think a high foreclosure rate should be the kiss of death for any given market in 2013 if you're a would-be buyer or investor," RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist says. "In this market, it just means there's more available inventory for you to purchase."

RealtyTrac, which compiles information from more than 1 million U.S. foreclosures per year, recently analyzed all 102 metro areas with 500,000 residents or more to determine which seem likely to offer buyers the best deals in 2013.

The site considered several factors, such as what percentage foreclosures made up of all homes sold in each location between January and October (the latest period with data available).

Blomquist says the best metro areas for buyers are basically those with the biggest foreclosure woes.

"These are markets where buyers have more foreclosure inventory available and more leverage with sellers," he says. "If you don't like the deal that one seller offers you, you can simply move on to the next property."

RealtyTrac found the top such markets in just two states -- Florida and New York.

Blomquist says that's partly because the foreclosure crisis hit both locales hard, but also because Florida and New York are "judicial-foreclosure" states. Those are areas where foreclosure laws require lenders to go through long court proceedings to seize homes -- creating huge backlogs of distressed properties.

"The judicial-foreclosure process is lengthier and more susceptible to delays, and the consequence of that is that markets in those states are going to have the longest path to a true recovery," Blomquist says.

Here's a look at the five best U.S. markets that RealtyTrac sees this year for people interested in buying foreclosures.

All sales figures refer to houses, townhouses, condos and apartment buildings with four units or less that sold between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 2012. All backlogs of unsold foreclosures are as of Dec. 31, the most-recent period with data available.

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