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Residential home sales continue to climb: RealtyTrac

Short sales become less appetizing

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Residential property sales, including single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes, continue to rise, increasing to an estimated annualized pace of 5.649 million in October, a 2% hike from a month ago and an increase of 13% from October 2012, the latest RealtyTrac Residential and Foreclosure Sales Report revealed.  

But despite the national trend, three top indicator states still posted decreases for the third consecutive month: California, Arizona and Nevada, which are down 15%, 13% and 5%, respectively, from a year ago.  

Meanwhile, the national median sales price of all residential properties—including both distressed and non-distressed—sat at $170,000, unchanged from September, but 6% higher than October 2012. This is also the 18th consecutive month median home sales have increased on an annualized basis.

The median price of a distressed residential property, in foreclosure or bank owned, hit $110,000 in October, 41% lower than the median price of $185,000 for a non-distressed property.

"After a surge in short sales in late 2011 and early 2012, the favored disposition method for distressed properties is shifting back toward the more traditional foreclosure auction sales and bank-owned sales," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.

"The combination of rapidly rising home prices — along with strong demand from institutional investors and other cash buyers able to buy at the public foreclosure auction or an as-is REO home — means short sales are becoming less favorable for lenders,” Blomquist added.

As a result, short sales made up 5.3% of all sales, a 6.3% drop from the previous month and down from 11.2% in October 2012.

Nevada, Florida, Maryland, Michigan and Illinois ranked as the states with the highest percentage of short sales last month.

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