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Maryland experiences high rate of short sales in December

Short sales represented more than 8 percent of Maryland's home sales in December, one of highest rates in the country, according to data provided by RealtyTrac Inc., a real estate information company.

But bank-owned properties accounted for just 3.9 percent of sales last month and foreclosure auctions for 1 percent, both lower than the national averages, the report said.

While total sales and prices have rebounded, Maryland still is grappling with a troubled housing market. In 2013, one in every 64 housing units had a foreclosure filing, RealtyTrac reported last week.

Nationwide, short sales accounted for about 5.7 percent of December residential sales activity. Maryland had the fourth highest percentage in the nation, behind Nevada, Florida and Illinois.

In a short sale, a lender agrees to let a borrower sell a property for less than is owed on the mortgage, accepting less than what is owed to release the lien on the property.

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