Local distressed property sales on the rise

SEATTLE -- The housing market has had its ups and downs of late, and new numbers are offering a better idea of what's actually selling and why.

Many homeowners are taking a beating on their properties, selling them for less than they're worth or losing them to the bank. Now, new stats from Washington Property Solutions shows that distressed property sales, both short sales and property taken over by the bank, rose steadily in the Puget Sound area in the first quarter of the year.

In King County, distressed sales made up 40 percent of all home sales, and in Pierce County the number was up over 54 percent.

The numbers for condos are even more staggering.

In Snohomish and Pierce counties, more than 60 percent of all condominium sales in January, February and March were distressed.

It's to the point where, in Mill Creek, ReMax is offering bus tours of distressed homes.

Near Boise, Idaho, in the town of Kuna, evidence of the tumbling prices can be found within the walls of the so called {A href=""}Kuna Castle. The castle had been appraised at $800,000, but it can now be yours for just $332,000.

There are, of course, exceptions to the troubling trends. {A href=""}Dick Clark's "Flintstones" inspired home in Malibu, California is on the market for $3.5 million. The home sits on 23 acres and has sweeping views of the ocean. The only drawback is that it has only one bedroom.