Foreclosures, Cash Sales Continue to Recede

Daren Blomquist  |   August 27, 2015

The number of properties in-foreclosure as well as cash sales fell to multiyear lows in July while overall home sales continued to perform strongly, according to RealtyTrac’s July 2015 U.S. Home Sales Report, released Thursday. NAR's Latest Report: 6 Key Housing Stats to Gauge the Market The sale of homes sold while in the foreclosure process – excluding bank-owned properties – comprised 6.4 percent of all single-family and condo sales in July, the lowest monthly share since RealtyTrac began tracking in January 2000. The National Association of REALTORS® reported last week that its data showed foreclosures and short sales in July dropped to the lowest share since it began tracking such data in October 2008. In July, foreclosures sold, on average, for a discount of 17 percent below market value while short sales sold for an average discount of 12 percent, according to NAR. The percentage of all-cash sales is also dropping year over year. NAR reported the percentage of all-cash sales was 23 percent of transactions in July, down from 29 percent a year ago. The number of cash sales is falling as the share of individual investors – who tend to account for the biggest bulk of cash sales – is falling to 13 percent of the market, down from 16 percent a year ago. RealtyTrac’s data also showed all-cash buyers at about 23 percent of all single-family home and condo sales in July, marking the lowest percentage of cash sales in a month since July 2008, RealtyTrac reports. “While the stock market may be on a roller coaster as of late, the housing market is still on solid ground, with the eight-year low in cash sales combined with the eight-year high in overall sales volume in the first half of the year evidence that housing is successfully transitioning from an investor-driven recovery to one that is drawing in traditional buyers as a good foundation for sustainable growth going forward,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “That’s not to say there are no cracks in the foundation of this recovery, the top three of which are housing affordability — or lack thereof in some high-flying markets — along with overdependence on capricious cash buyers — both foreign and domestic — in some markets, and the persistent overhang of underwater home owners who continue to represent heightened default risk given any future economic shockwaves.” The following metros had the highest share of in-foreclosure properties in July, according to RealtyTrac, were: Salisbury, N.C.: 23.6% Rockford, Ill.: 17.1% Morehead City, N.C.: 16.3% Baltimore: 16.1% Toledo, Ohio: 15.2% Chicago: 14.7% Meanwhile, the metros with the highest percentage of cash sales in July included: New York: 43.2% Orlando, Fla.: 37.6% Tampa, Fla.: 35.3% Las Vegas: 32.6% Rochester, N.Y.: 32.6% Detroit: 31.9%

Source: Realty Trac