Real Estate Sales Fall 2%, Thanks To Drop In Distressed Properties

Overall home sales in the United States fell by 2% year on year in April last month but certain types saw sales rise, according to the latest real …

Overall home sales in the United States fell by 2% year on year in April last month but certain types saw sales rise, according to the latest real estate report from CoreLogic.

The firm recorded non-seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 5.10 million, some 0.5% higher than the 5.07 million pace reported for March 2014.

Despite the decrease in total home sales, sales of existing homes increased by 10% year on year and sales of newly constructed homes increased by 7%. But distressed sales fell by 50% year on year.

A detailed look at the figures show that real estate owned (REO) sales, which make up the majority of distressed sales, fell by 25% and short sales fell by 88%. Distressed sales accounted for just 9.7% of total sales in April, a strong improvement from the same time a year ago when this category made up 19% of total sales.

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REO sales accounted for 8.9% of total sales and short sales accounted for only 0.9% of total sales. The short sales share is at its lowest level since January 2007, and this dramatic drop is most likely due to both improvements in the borrower equity position and to the expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act at the end of 2013, the firm said.

It pointed out that there will always be some amount of distress in the housing market, so one would never expect a 0% distressed sales share, but for comparison, the pre-crisis share of distressed sales was traditionally about 2%.

Michigan had the largest share of distressed sales of any state at 28.5% in April, followed by Illinois at 24.8%, Florida 23.2%, Nevada 23% and Georgia 21.3%. California saw a 17.4% drop in the distressed sales share, the largest of any state.
Of the largest 25 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) based on population, Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Illinois, had the largest share of distressed sales at 27.3%, followed by Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida, at 25.4%, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida at 24.8%, Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada, at 24.3% and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida at 24.1%.

Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, California, had the largest drop in its distressed share, falling by 24.6% from 31% in April 2013 to 6.3% in April 2014.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.


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