ST. LOUIS (AP) — Foreclosed homes typically sell cheap, but just how cheap is surprising some buyers in the St. Louis area.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch checked public records and found that some homes in the region are going for small fractions of the price they brought at market-rate sales just a few years ago. One buyer paid $12,000 for a 1,600-square-foot suburban home assessed at nearly $90,000.

Investor-buyers are combing the market for bargain-bin listings, hoping to quickly flip them or rent them out. They’re taking advantage of banks and other lenders eager to move toxic assets off their books.

But the low-priced homes also affect their communities, lowering property values and discouraging improvements to neighboring homes.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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