This is news. Over the past four years of the downturn, short sales tended to sell higher. This was mainly because the values were still dropping month to month. Even though an REO and a short sale were priced similarly to begin with, by the time the short sales closed six months late, the comparable REO listings were cheaper.
Lots of short sale deals fell out as buyers would switch to the cheaper listings while the bank fidoodled.
Now that prices seem to be flat on the bottom, more of those deals should close.
One advantage occupied short sales have over vacant REO's is that the homeowner or renter often continues to maintain the landscaping.
As to the question on $200K prices in Antelope and Elverta, there are dozens of salable listings in those communities. There are not enough cash buyers around to buy them all, so conventional buyers have a good chance. Just don't try to buy a major fixer. Conventional lenders don't like "contractor's specials". Hard Money lenders love them (at 11%+)
Since every home is priced by a different person you can't make a general statement that they're all priced high, low or about right. One observation that I do have, though, is that short sales tend to sell a little lower. I expect it's the offset of having to wait sometimes a long time for a possible approval by the seller's lender. Bank owned properties, being immediately available for a response to your offer, most often have multiple offers and are competitive. That brings their price up.
If you sign on to one of our websites, and set up your own search, you'll start to get a feel of values in areas. Then you will know, without a CMA, if the pricing for a home is running about right. (And if you find one that's pricefd incorrectly, you mihgt be able to slip in and make a realistic offer without competition).
Without knowing about a specific property in a specific neighborhood I can't give you an absolute yes. But in general most of these home will close within 5-10% of asking price. A buyer with a conventional loan (someone putting 20% down) would have a better than average chance of buying a home depending on the rest of the terms provided for in the purchase contract. Keep in mind most bank owned homes are price at or below market to generate offers.
I hope this helps and if i can show you any homes in these areas please let me know.