Short Sales and REOs Combine for 25 Percent of August U.S. Home Sales

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 11:37

RealtyTrac released its August 2013 U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report, which shows that U.S. residential properties, including single family homes and condominiums and townhomes, sold at an estimated annualized pace of 5.6 million in August, up two percent from the 5.5 million pace in July and up 12 percent from the 5.0 million pace in August 2012.
The national median sales price in August was $175,000, up three percent from the previous month and up 6 percent from a year ago — the 17th consecutive month where median home prices have increased annually nationwide.
The median price of a distressed residential property — in foreclosure or bank owned — in August was $116,000, up one percent from the previous month, but down three percent from a year ago. Median distressed prices have now declined on an annual basis for six consecutive months including August.
“Seven years after the housing bubble burst, U.S. home prices are clearly on the rise again, up 23 percent from the bottom in March 2012 although still 26 below the peak of the housing price bubble in August 2006,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “This recovery in home prices and sale volume continues to be driven in large part by cash buyers and institutional investors, as evidenced by the increasing share of sales represented by those two categories in August.”
Other high-level findings from the report:
►All-cash purchases represented 45 percent of all residential sales in August, up from 39 percent in July and 30 percent in August 2012. Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of all-cash sales were Miami (69 percent), Detroit (68 percent), Las Vegas (66 percent), Jacksonville, Fla., (65 percent), and Tampa, Fla., (64 percent).
►Institutional investors (purchasing 10 or more properties in the last 12 months) accounted for 10 percent of all sales in August, up from nine percent in July and nine percent in August 2012. Among metro areas with a population of one million or more, those with the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases were Memphis, Tenn. (31 percent), Jacksonville, Fla. (29 percent), Atlanta (22 percent), St. Louis (17 percent), and Detroit (17 percent).
►Short sales accounted for 15 percent of all U.S. residential sales in August, up from 14 percent in July and eight percent in August 2012. States with the biggest percentage of short sales were Nevada (34 percent), Florida (29 percent), Ohio (23 percent), Maryland (21 percent), Tennessee (20 percent), and Michigan (20 percent).
►Sales of bank-owned homes accounted for 10 percent of all U.S. residential sales in August, up from nine percent in July and nine percent in August 2012. States with the biggest percentage of REO were Nevada (22 percent), Ohio (17 percent), Arizona (17 percent), Michigan (16 percent), Illinois (14 percent) and California (14 percent).
►Sales volume increased from the previous month in 39 out of the 42 states tracked in the report and was up from a year ago in 37 states, including Texas, (up 31 percent), Illinois (up 29 percent), Pennsylvania (up 28 percent), Virginia (up 26 percent), and Florida (up 22 percent). Notable exceptions where sales volume decreased from a year ago included California (down 17 percent), Arizona (down 12 percent), Nevada (down six percent)
►States with biggest annual increases in median prices include California (up 32 percent), Nevada (up 26 percent), Georgia (up 21 percent), Arizona (up 20 percent) and New York (up 19 percent).
►Among metro areas with a population of one million or more, those with the biggest annual increases in median prices included San Francisco (up 35 percent), Sacramento (up 35 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California (up 28 percent), Atlanta (up 28 percent), Los Angeles (up 26 percent), Las Vegas (up 26 percent), and Phoenix (up 25 percent).