RealtyTrac: Sales of Residential Properties Hold Steady in December 2013

IRVINE, Calif.—The December and Year-End 2013 U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report from RealtyTrac shows that residential properties, including single family homes, condominiums and townhomes, sold at an estimated annual pace of 5,167,255 in December. This marks a one percent increase from November 2013 and a 10 percent increase from December 2012.

The national median sales price of residential properties –including distressed and non-distressed sales –was $168,391, which was virtually unchanged from November and up two percent from December 2012. Short sales and foreclosure-related sales accounted for a combined 16.2 percent of all U.S. residential sales in 2013, which is up from 14.5 percent of all sales in 2012 and up from 15.2 percent of all sales in 2011.

“It may surprise some to see distressed sales rising in 2013 given that new foreclosure activity dropped to a seven-year low for the year,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “And while short sales did trend lower in the second half of the year, there are still more than 1.2 million properties in the foreclosure process or bank-owned, providing a sizable pool of inventory that the housing market is in the process of absorbing. Meanwhile, non-distressed sellers have not listed their homes for sale in droves, helping to keep the distressed share of sales at a stubbornly high level.”

Other highlights from the December and Year-End 2013 U.S. Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report include:

  • Sales of bank-owned properties accounted for 9.3 percent of all U.S. residential sales in December, up from 8.7 percent in the previous month and 9.2 percent in December 2012.
  • More than 436,000 bank-owned properties sold in 2013. States with the highest percentage of these sales in December were Nevada, Michigan, Ohio, Arizona and Illinois.
  • Short sales accounted for 5.7 percent of residential sales in December. More than 256,000 short sales occurred in 2013, accounting for 5.8 percent of all residential sales. This is an increase from 4.9 percent of all sales in 2012, but down from 6 percent in 2011.
  • States with the highest percentage of short sales in December were Nevada, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Michigan.
  • Sales to third-party investors at the foreclosure auction accounted for 1.2 percent of sales in December, up from 1.1 percent in November and up from 0.8 percent in December 2012. More than 48,000 U.S. properties were sold to third parties at foreclosure auction in 2013.
  • All-cash purchases accounted for 42.1 percent of all residential sales in December, up from 38.1 percent in November and up from 18.0 percent in December 2012. For all of 2013, 29.1 percent of U.S. residential sales were all-cash purchases, but the percentage trended substantially higher in the second half of the year.
  • States where all-cash sales accounted for more than 50 percent of residential sales in December included Florida, Wisconsin, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia.

More information on this report and RealtyTrac can be found here

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