Short sales accounted for 15.9 percent of home purchases in January, according to a survey by Campbell Surveys for Inside Mortgage Finance.

Before January, the peak in short sales had been 15.1 percent in October. They declined substantially in November, probably because of the number of first-time home buyers hoping to use the tax-credit that required them to close by December 1.

While short sales take a long time to close, they typically sell for only 91 percent of listing price, making them a popular option for bargain-hunting buyers who aren't in a hurry, the survey said.

Source: Inman News