RealtyTrac: Distressed home prices hit new 5-year high

Median homes prices remain flat

The median sales price of single-family homes and condos in November stayed relatively flat compared to the previous month, coming in at $190,000. However, this is up 15% from a year ago, RealtyTrac’s November 2014 Residential and Foreclosure Sales Report found. 

On the other side, the median sales price of distressed homes — those in the foreclosure process or bank-owned — produced very different results and reached a high of $128,625, the highest since December 2009, 35% below the median sales price of non-distressed properties, $199,000.

Distressed home prices increased at a faster pace, up 18% from a year ago while non-distressed home prices were up 14% during the same time period.

As a result, this might push more investors out of the market and open the door for homebuyers, explained Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. 

“As the price of distressed properties reaches a new high, the pool of investor activity that has been fueling the housing recovery may dry up,” said Blomquist. “However, 20 states still saw annual decreases in distressed property prices so we will continue to see a fragmented recovery as investors move from once-hot markets such as Phoenix, Atlanta and many California markets and into markets such as Charlotte, Columbus, Ohio, Dallas and Oklahoma City.”

The median sales price — which included both distressed sales of homes in some stage of foreclosure and non-distressed sales — increased 35% from a trough of $141,000 in March 2012. But it still is 20% below the previous peak of $237,537 in August 2006.

In addition, short sales and distressed sales — in foreclosure or bank-owned — combined accounted for 12.6% of all residential property sales in November, falling 13.7% from the previous month, and down from 14.8% in November 2013.

Short sales accounted for 3.4% of all residential property sales in November, down from the previous month and a year ago and below the pre-recession average of 4.5% a month in 2006.

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