Foreclosure sales rose 10.4% in California in August, and speculator-owned properties represent a growing percentage of the foreclosed properties, according to ForeclosureRadar, Discovery Bay, Calif.The company reported that 9,477 California foreclosures (with a total loan value of $3.86 billion) were sold at auction in August. Non-owner-occupied properties accounted for $1.71 billion of the total and represented 44.3% of the properties, the company reported. "Many blame subprime lending for our current real estate crisis, but rampant speculation, even by those with great credit, played a leading role," said Sean O'Toole, founder and chief executive officer of Foreclosure Radar. "The subprime market took the first hit, as those borrowers had the least to lose when they walked away. Now that nearly half of foreclosures represent non-owner-occupied properties, it is clear that speculators are walking away, too." ForeclosureRadar, a foreclosure listings and software company, can be found on the Web at http://www.foreclosureradar.com.

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