Depends on how you frame the answer.
The question is "are there fewer short sales and foreclosures in Prince William County VA than last year?"
As an example I've posted charts showing the decrease in foreclosures and short sales in the Port Potomac neighborhood since 2008. Port Potomac is one of the newer developments in the county where it was evident as the market began to turn that investors were going to bail. The impact on home prices in the neighborhood was evident.
In the case of Port Potomac the answer is "YES" the number of short sales and foreclosures has declined. However if you look a the entirety of Prince William County VA you will see overall short sales and foreclosures have held steady over the last year. However and this is where the idea of a decrease of distressed properties comes to buyers minds is check out the change in "non bank-mediated" sales since January & Feb 2011.
As an overall percentage of the Prince William County real estate market short sales and foreclosures ARE decreasing.
What is important to remember that Prince William County is a big area. What is happening in one neighborhood such as Port Potomac might not be the same as what is happening in Belmont Bay, Lake Ridge or Montclair. If you are searching for a new home or making the decision to sell your current home you need to know what is happening in your neighborhood not in another neighborhood, a general zip code are or the whole of Prince William County VA.
If you are interested in talking in more detail about your neighborhood give Cindy Jones and CJ Realty Group a call at 703-346-2213. Let's talk about YOUR neighborhood and YOUR priorities for buying or selling a home. Don't let generalizations about the market or news about the national real estate market determine what you do with your real estate future.