Short sales, foreclosure sales up in December

by Ryan Smith23 Jan 2014
Short sales and foreclosure sales accounted for about 16% of all U.S. residential sales in 2013, according to data released today. That’s up from 14.5% of all sales in 2012 and 15.2% of all sales in 2011.

Residential properties sold at an estimated annual pace of 5,167,255 in December, according to RealtyTrac’s December and Year-End 2013 U.S. Residential Sales & Foreclosure Report. That’s an increase of a little under 1% from November and a 10% increase from December of 2012.

Annualized sales volumes countered the national trend in 18 of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas by dropping from a year ago, and were also down in five states: California, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. The median sales price of residential properties remained relatively steady at $168,391, according to RealtyTrac.

Sales of bank-owned properties were up, accounting for 9.3% of all residential sales in December, according to RealtyTrac. Short sales also rose, accounting for 5.7% of all residential sales for the month.

“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.”


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