Furthering the evidence that the economy is recovering from the financial crisis, short sales and foreclosure sales accounted for only 13% of the total homes sold in the third quarter, which was the lowest level since the first quarter of 2011.
The data comes courtesy of the September and Q3 2014 Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report from RealtyTrac. Short sales and distressed sales — in foreclosure or bank-owned — accounted for 12.7% of all sales in the third quarter, down from 14.2% in the previous quarter and down from 14.5% in the third quarter of 2013, to the lowest level since RealtyTrac began tracking short sales and distressed sales combined in the first quarter of 2011, RealtyTrac said in the report.
According to the report, residential properties, including single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes sold at an estimated annual pace of 4,402,741 in September, a decrease of 1% from August 2014 and a decrease of 19% from one year ago.
Metro areas with the highest share of combined short sales and distressed sales were Las Vegas (34.9%), Stockton, California, (31.8%), Modesto, California, (31.2%), Lakeland, Florida, (26.1%), and Jacksonville, Florida, (26.1%).
“Short sales nationwide accounted for 3.8% of all sales in the third quarter, down from 4.2% of all sales in the second quarter and down from 4.7% of all sales in the third quarter of 2013 to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2011,” RealtyTrac said in the report.
Additionally, the median sales price of U.S. residential properties — including both distressed and non-distressed sales — was $195,000 in September, up less than 1% from August and up 15% from September 2013, according to RealtyTrac’s report.
September marked the 30th consecutive month where median home prices increased on an annual basis, and the 15% annual increase is the biggest annual percentage increase since October 2005.
“Median home prices nationally in September were boosted by a new low in the share of distressed sales during the third quarter, resulting in fewer home sales on the lower end,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “The share of homes selling above $200,000 is up 7% from a year ago, and the share of homes selling above $500,000 is up 15% from a year ago.”
Per RealtyTrac’s report, median home prices increased less than 10% from a year ago in 59 of the 102 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 500,000 or more tracked in the report.
Major metros with single-digit appreciation included Los Angeles (9% increase), where annual home price appreciation has been in single digits for four consecutive months; Phoenix, Arizona (6% increase), where annual home price appreciation has been in single digits for six consecutive months; San Diego, California (7% increase), where annual home price appreciation has been in single digits for four consecutive months; Denver (6% increase), where annual home price appreciation has been in single digits for nine consecutive months; and Portland (7% increase), where annual home price appreciation has been in single digits for five consecutive months.
“Some of the biggest increases in median prices are in markets in the Midwest, Southeast and Inland California, where home prices are still considered a relative bargain for both investors and owner-occupant buyers,” Blomquist said.
“Meanwhile, many of the fastest-appreciating real estate markets last year have now settled into a more sustainable pattern of single-digit appreciation.”