sales continue to cool, dipping to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08
million in February RealtyTrac said today.
This was a -0.2 percent change from January and marked the fourth
consecutive month where sales have fallen on a month-over-month basis. Sales in February 2014 still managed to
remain 7 percent higher than in the same period in 2013.
sales were noted nationwide. Thirty-one
states posted monthly decreases and six states saw sales drop from a year
earlier as did 21 of the 50 largest metro markets.
and demand have reached a bit of a standoff in this uneven real estate
recovery," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "The supply of
distressed properties - which buyers and investors have come to rely on over
the past few years - is evaporating quickly in most markets, but that dwindling
supply is not being adequately replenished by non-distressed homeowners listing
their homes or by new homes being built. Meanwhile, a key source of demand over
the past two years - institutional investors purchasing single family homes as
rentals - is starting to decline, and it's not yet clear if that diminishing
demand will be filled by first-time homebuyers and move-up buyers."
properties still account for significant portions of real estate sales
according to the RealtyTrac figures. Of
sales in February 5.7 percent were classified as short sales - sales of homes
pre-foreclosure with the bank taking less in payment than the value of the loan
- and sales of bank owned homes (REO) for another 11.2 percent. The combined share of distressed sales - 16.9
percent - was an increase from 16.1 percent in January but down from 19.1
percent in February 2013.
national median sales price of U.S. residential properties, including both
distressed and non-distressed sales, was $164,667 in February, down 1 percent
from the previous month but up 4 percent from February 2013. February marked
the 20th consecutive month where the U.S. median price increased or
stayed flat annually, but it was the second consecutive month with a monthly
decrease. The median price of distressed properties was $96,606 in February, 44
percent below the median price of non-distressed properties: $172,339.
at the public foreclosure auction accounted for1.5 percent of national sales,
up from 1.3 percent in January and 1.1 percent in February 2013. RealtyTrac said that 97 percent of at-auction
sales were all cash and 35 percent of the properties were sold to institutional
investors, i.e. entities that had purchased 10 or more properties in a calendar
year. Those institutional investors
accounted for 5.9 percent of all residential sales in February, compared to 5.0
percent in January and 7.2 percent a year earlier. February was the third consecutive month where
the institutional investor share of sales declined on a year-over-year basis
after 19 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
sales continue in significant numbers as well; 43.3 percent of all U.S.
residential sales in February were cash compared to 42.1 percent in January and
20.2 percent in February 2013. February was the eighth consecutive month where
cash sales accounted for 35 percent or more of all sales nationwide