Right now I would say there are substantially more short sales than foreclosures but that could change in the future since banks have resumed doing foreclosures this year. Foreclosure had all but stopped in DC due to legislation passed by the DC City Council that spooked the banks and title companies. Apparently the concerns have been addressed as foreclosures have begun anew.
In fact, I am headed to a foreclosure auction to take place in northwest DC in about an hour.
It's impossible to tell by just looking at the MRIS, because Foreclosures, by nature, do not get posted in the MRIS. The bank puts them up for auction first and only get listed if they don't sell at auction. If you look at the legal classifieds section in the Post and other DC papers, you can get an idea of how many foreclosures they really are.
This is not surprising in DC, the property values have remained really strong. Even the statistics for the short sales are extremely low when compared to much of the Washington DC Metro area as a whole. It would be ludicrous for someone to foreclose in DC these days, there is almost always money to be made with such an aggressive investor community. Not to mention that doing short sales are very attractive to banks.
You can indeed find in MRIS and I was surprised to find only 3 Active Foreclosures for sale and 70 Active Short Sales for the whole of District of Columbia and this includes both single family homes and condominiums. Foreclosures pretty much were brought to a halt in Washington DC about a year or two ago when the District Government enacted legislation requiring detailed notification to foreclosed parties and tenants making it very hard to obtain title insurance when buying, so I think that is one reason for so few foreclosures.
With very low inventory of foreclosures and home sales at strong levels, short sales still ahead of foreclosures, but not for a long period. Overall the hosuing recovery still shows evidence of speed recovery as indicated by December 2012 home prices trends and 2013 forecasts.