SOURCE: RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac

December 20, 2013 00:01 ET

Share of All-Cash Sales Reaches New High in November, REO Sales Share Increases for Third Consecutive Month

Annualized Sales Volume Down From Year Ago in 14 of 50 Largest Metros; Institutional Investor Share Highest in Columbus, Phoenix, Atlanta, Jacksonville

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 20, 2013) - RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), the nation's leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its November 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 annual pace of 5,146,565 in November, a less than 1 percent increase from a revised pace of 5,128,034 in October and up 10 percent from November 2012.

Annualized sale volume declined from the previous month in 18 states and was down from a year ago in four states: California (down 14 percent), Arizona (down 12 percent), Nevada (down 9 percent), and Rhode Island (down 4 percent). Annualized sales volume declined from a year ago in 14 of the nation's 50 largest metros, including seven California metros, two metros in both Arizona and New York, along with Las Vegas, New Haven, Conn., and Portland, Ore.

The national median sales price of all residential properties -- including both distressed and non-distressed sales -- was $169,000 in November, up 1 percent from October and up 7 percent from November 2012, the 19th consecutive month median home prices have increased on an annualized basis.

The median price of a distressed residential property -- in foreclosure or bank owned -- was $110,500 in November, 39 percent below the median price of $181,500 for a non-distressed residential property.

"The housing market recovery continued to be driven by investors and other cash purchasers in November," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "Lenders are taking advantage of this environment to unload more of their bank-owned inventory and in-foreclosure inventory at the foreclosure auction. But as the backlog of distressed inventory available dries up in many of the markets with the most efficient foreclosure processes -- namely California, Arizona and Nevada, with Georgia not far behind -- overall sales volume is declining and will continue to do so until more non-distressed sellers enter the market."

Other high-level findings from the report:

  • All-cash purchases accounted for 42.0 percent of all residential property sales in November, up from 38.8 percent in October and also up from a year ago to the highest level since RealtyTrac began tracking all-cash purchases in January 2011.
  • States with the highest percentage of cash sales were Florida (62.7 percent), Georgia (51.3 percent), Nevada (51.0 percent), South Carolina (50.3 percent), and Michigan (49.0 percent).
  • Institutional investor purchases represented 7.7 percent of all residential property sales in November, up from 7.1 percent in October and up from 6.3 percent a year ago.
  • Markets with the highest share of institutional investor purchases included Columbus, Ohio, Phoenix, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Fla., and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Sales of bank-owned homes (REO) accounted for 10.0 percent of all residential property sales in November, up from 9.1 percent in October and 9.4 percent a year ago. November marked the third consecutive month where REO sales increased from the previous month.
  • Metro areas where REO sales accounted for at least 20 percent of all sales and increased from a year ago included Stockton, Calif., Las Vegas, Cleveland, Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., and Phoenix.
  • Sales to third-party investors at the foreclosure auction represented 1.3 percent of all residential property sales in November, up from 0.8 percent of sales in both the previous month and a year ago to the highest level since RealtyTrac began tracking third party foreclosure auction sales in January 2011.
  • Metro areas with the highest share of third party foreclosure auction sales were Miami (4.0 percent), Atlanta (3.9 percent), Jacksonville, Fla. (3.9 percent), Orlando (3.6 percent), and Las Vegas (3.6 percent).
  • Short sales represented 5.6 percent of all residential property sales in November, up from 5.4 percent the previous month but down from 6.5 percent in November 2012.
  • States with the highest percentage of short sales were Nevada (16.6 percent), Florida (14.2 percent), Illinois (8.8 percent), Maryland (8.6 percent) and New Jersey (7.1 percent).
  • Markets with the biggest annual increase in median prices included Detroit (up 39 percent), Sacramento (up 30 percent), Atlanta (up 28 percent), and San Francisco (up 27 percent).

Local broker quotes
"Currently about 85 percent of the Reno housing market has returned back to equity sales," said Craig King, COO at Chase International brokerage, covering the Reno, Nev., and Lake Tahoe markets.  "Nevada was one of the very first markets into the housing debacle and we seem to be one of the first ones out."

"Housing inventory in some middle Tennessee markets are down compared to this time last year," said Bob Parks, CEO of Bob Parks Realty, covering the Nashville and middle Tennessee market. "But our home sales are still increasing at a gradual rate and the overall housing market is quite positive."

"Available housing inventory is low across much of Ohio, marking a time when many should consider selling properties instead of waiting for the spring market," said Michael Mahon, executive vice president/broker for HER Realtors, covering the Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, OH markets. "With the onset of the Dodd-Frank legislation going into effect January 2014, as well as uncertainty about interest rates for 2014, it is an equally opportunistic time for buyers to consider making a home purchase to take advantage of the highest housing affordability in Ohio's recent history."

"Credit tightening will occur in January 2014 due to the Dodd-Frank legislation, which I expect will cause home sales to decrease marginally," said Sheldon Detrick, CEO of Prudential Detrick/Alliance Realty, covering the Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK markets. "This legislation is positive for the long term to ensure we don't experience another big home default mess, but I hope this is the last tightening we experience because as the lenders continue to tighten their loan criteria, it will begin to have a detrimental effect on the housing market and in turn the economy."

"We are experiencing normal seasonal trends in home sales in the Northern Utah market," said Steve Roney, CEO of Prudential Utah Real Estate, covering the Salt Lake City and Park City, UT markets. "Despite the slower seasonal months, it's clear that we are back to a 'normal' housing market."

Report methodology
The RealtyTrac U.S. Residential Sales Report provides counts and median prices for sales of residential properties nationwide, by state and metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 500,000 or more. Data is also available at the county level upon request. The report also provides a breakdown of cash sales, institutional investor sales, short sales, bank-owned sales and foreclosure auction sales to third parties. The data is derived from recorded sales deeds and loan data, which is used to determine cash sales and short sales. Sales counts for recent months are projected based on seasonality and expected number of sales records for those months that are not yet available from public record sources but will be in the future given historical patterns. Statistics for previous months are revised when each new monthly report is issued as more deed data becomes available for those previous months.

Important methodology note: Starting with our October report, RealtyTrac has adjusted the methodology for the report as it concerns short sales -- now applying a refined calculation to take into account the true loan balance secured by a home at the time of the sale, and additionally separating out of the short sale classification properties that sell at the public foreclosure auction short of the loan balance.

Related to this second change, RealtyTrac is now including a new category of distressed sale in the report: third-party foreclosure auction sales, which represent sales at the public foreclosure auction to third parties other than the foreclosing lender.

Definitions
Residential property sales: sales of single family homes, condominiums/townhomes, and co-ops, not including multi-family properties.

Annualized sales: an annualized estimate of the number of residential property sales based on the actual number of sales deeds received for the month, accounting for expected sales records for that month that will be received in future months as well as seasonality.

Distressed sales: sale of a residential property that is actively in the foreclosure process or bank-owned when the sale is recorded.

Distressed discount: percentage difference between the median price of distressed sales and a non-distressed sales in a given geographic area.

Bank-Owned sales: sales of residential properties that have been foreclosed on and are owned by the foreclosing lender (bank).

Short sales: sales of residential properties where the sale price is below the combined total of outstanding mortgages secured by the property.

Foreclosure Auction sales: sale of a property at the public foreclosure auction to a third party buyer that is not the foreclosing lender.

All-cash purchases: sales where no loan is recorded at the time of sale and where RealtyTrac has coverage of loan data.

Institutional investor purchases: residential property sales to non-lending entities that purchased at least 10 properties in the last 12 months.

Report License
The RealtyTrac U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales report is the result of a proprietary evaluation of information compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information in whole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published, distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the user specifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any of the information set forth within the report.

Data Licensing and Custom Report Order
Investors, businesses and government institutions can contact RealtyTrac to license bulk foreclosure and neighborhood data or purchase customized reports. For more information contact our Data Licensing Department at 800.462.5193 or datasales@realtytrac.com.

About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is the leading supplier of U.S. real estate data, with more than 1.5 million active default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties, and more than 1 million active for-sale listings on its website, which also provides essential housing information for more than 100 million homes nationwide. This information includes property characteristics, tax assessor records, bankruptcy status and sales history, along with 20 categories of key housing-related facts provided by RealtyTrac's wholly-owned subsidiary, Homefacts®. RealtyTrac's foreclosure reports and other housing data are relied on by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.