It seems hard to imagine, but CoreLogic said on Wednesday that once-upon-a time, before the housing crisis, the sale of distressed homes made up only a miniscule 2 percent of the home sale market.  Still, much progress has been made and the company said that sales of bank-owned real estate (REO) and short sales made up 11.4 percent of all sales during the month.

Even with distressed sales running at more than five times what might be considered "normal" the June figures represent substantial improvement.  When those sales were at their peak, in January 2009, they made up nearly one-third (32.5 percent) of the market with REO alone accounting for 28 percent.  Nineteen straight months of year-over-year declines in the sales have contributed to the rise in home prices as distressed sales traditionally sell at a discount from the market price.

Distressed sales in June were at the lowest level since December 2007 and were down from 15.8 percent in June 2013.  REO sales in June comprised 7.2 percent of all home sales and short sales 4.2 percent. 

Despite a dramatically improved national picture the share of distressed sales remains far above pre-crisis levels in some localities.   Michigan had the largest share among the states at 27 percent in June, followed by Illinois (24.1 percent), Florida (23.6 percent), Nevada (22.7 percent) and Georgia (20.7 percent).   Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights led large metropolitan areas with a 27.4 percent share of distressed sales, followed by three Florida areas, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall (26.4 percent), Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (24.8 percent), and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (24.6 percent).  The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metro area was number five at 23.9 percent.

California experienced a 14.6-percentage point drop in the distressed sales share, the largest of any state and the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade region had the largest drop among metropolitan areas with the distressed share of sales falling by 17.1 percentage points from 33.1 percent in June 2013 to 16.1 percent in June 2014.