RealtyTrac has released its September 2013 U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report, which shows that U.S. residential properties, including single family homes, condominiums and townhomes, sold at an estimated annualized pace of 5,673,249 in September, up two percent from August and up 14 percent from September 2012. The national median sales price of all residential properties—including both distressed and non-distressed—in September was $174,000, up one percent from a revised $172,000 median price in August and up six percent from a $164,500 median price in September 2012.
The median price of a distressed residential property—in foreclosure or bank-owned—in September was $112,000, 41 percent below the median price of $189,000 for a non-distressed residential property. Distressed sales combined accounted for 25 percent of all sales in September, up from 18 percent of all sales a year ago.
“The housing market continues to skew in favor of investors, particularly deep-pocketed institutional investors, and other buyers paying with cash,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “While the institutional investors are pulling back their purchases in many of the higher-priced markets—places like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Seattle and Sacramento—they are continuing to ramp up purchases in markets where median prices are still below $200,000—places like Jacksonville, Atlanta, Charlotte, St. Louis and Dallas. The availability of distressed inventory also makes a difference. For example, institutional investor purchases have rebounded in Las Vegas corresponding to a recent rebound in foreclosure activity there.
“Distressed sales remain persistently high, particularly short sales,” Blomquist said. “Markets with the biggest increases in short sales tend to be those where either foreclosure starts or scheduled foreclosure auctions have rebounded in the last 18 months—translating into more motivated short sellers—or those with a still-high percentage of underwater homeowners with negative equity.”
Other high-level findings from the report:
►Institutional investors (purchasing 10 or more properties in the last 12 months) accounted for 14 percent of all sales in September, up from 9 percent in August and also 9 percent in September 2012. September had the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases of any month since RealtyTrac began tracking in January 2011.
►Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases in September were Atlanta (29 percent), Las Vegas (27 percent), St. Louis (25 percent), Jacksonville, Fla., (23 percent), Charlotte, N.C., (17 percent), Memphis, Tenn. (16 percent), Richmond, Va., (15 percent), Dallas (15 percent), and San Antonio, Texas (15 percent).
►All-cash purchases nationwide represented 49 percent of all residential sales in September, up from a revised 40 percent in August and up from 30 percent in September 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), Tampa, Fla. (62 percent), Jacksonville, Fla. (62 percent), Las Vegas (62 percent), Orlando, Fla., (59 percent), Atlanta (54 percent), Cleveland (51 percent), and Memphis, Tenn. (51 percent).
►Short sales accounted for 15 percent of all U.S. residential sales in September, up from 14 percent in August and 9 percent in September 2012. States with the biggest percentage of short sales were Nevada (32 percent), Florida (30 percent), Ohio (26 percent), Maryland (22 percent), and Tennessee (21 percent).
►Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of short sales were Las Vegas (34 percent), Columbus, Ohio (33 percent), Tampa, Fla. (33 percent), Memphis, Tenn., (32 percent), and Miami (32 percent).
►Sales of bank-owned homes accounted for 10 percent of all U.S. residential sales in September, up from 9 percent in August and also 9 percent in September 2012. Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the highest percentage of bank-owned sales were Las Vegas (21 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., (20 percent), Cleveland (19 percent), Phoenix (18 percent), and Columbus, Ohio (16 percent).
►Annualized sales volume increased from the previous month in 34 out of the 38 states tracked in the report and was up from a year ago in 35 states. Notable exceptions where annualized sales volume decreased from a year ago were California (down 15 percent), Arizona (down 11 percent), and Nevada (down 5 percent).
►States with the biggest annual increases in median prices were California (up 30 percent), Michigan (up 25 percent), Nevada (up 23 percent), Georgia (up 20 percent), and Arizona (up 20 percent).
►Among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the biggest annual increases in median prices were San Francisco (35 percent), Detroit (34 percent), Sacramento (33 percent), Atlanta (27 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., (26 percent), and Phoenix (25 percent).
►Home price appreciation showed signs of plateauing in these top six appreciating markets. In all six markets, the annual increase in home prices was down compared to previous months this year.