Price appreciation, short sales, foreclosures drop
IRVINE, Calif. – May 29, 2014 – RealtyTrac's April 2014 Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report finds that U.S. residential properties – single family homes, condominiums and townhomes – sold at an estimated annual pace of 5,213,793 in April, a decrease of less than 1 percent from March but an increase of 4 percent from April 2013.
The median sales price of U.S. residential properties – including both distressed and non-distressed sales – was $172,000 in April, an increase of 4 percent from the previous month and an increase of 11 percent from April 2013 – the biggest year-over-year increase since U.S. median prices bottomed out in March 2012.
"April home sales numbers are exhibiting the continued effects of low supply and still-strong demand that exist in many markets," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "Annualized sales volume nationwide decreased on a monthly basis for the sixth consecutive month and the 4 percent annual increase in April was the lowest year-over-year increase so far this year."
However, median home prices nationwide increased to the highest level since December 2008.
"U.S. median home prices have now increased 21 percent since hitting bottom in March 2012, although they are still 28 percent below their pre-recession peak of $237,537 in August 2006," Blomquist says. "There are a surprising number of markets, however, where median home prices have surpassed their previous peaks since the Great Recession ended in June 2009."
Since the recession ended in June 2009, median prices of residential property have surpassed pre-recession and recession levels (Jan 2005 through June 2009) in 53 counties, representing 19 percent of the 274 U.S. counties with a population of 200,000 or more where sufficient home price data is available.
New home price peaks were reached in the last two years in 28 counties, representing 10 percent of the total 274 counties analyzed, and seven counties reached new home price peaks in April 2014.
Annualized sales volume in April decreased from a year ago in 13 states, including Florida, and the District of Columbia, along with 28 of the nation's 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas.
States with decreasing sales volume from a year ago included California (down 13 percent), Nevada (9 percent), Arizona (8 percent), Florida (2 percent), Maryland (1 percent), and Michigan (1 percent).
Major metro areas with decreasing sales volume from a year ago included Fresno, Calif., (down 23 percent), Boston (down 22 percent), Orlando (down 18 percent), San Francisco (down 16 percent), Los Angeles (down 14 percent), and Phoenix (down 12 percent).
Nationwide median home prices in April increased 11 percent from a year ago – the biggest year-over-year increase since U.S. median residential property prices bottomed out in March 2012. April marked the 25th consecutive month where U.S. median prices increased on an annual basis.
But home price appreciation continued to show signs of slowing in some of the fastest appreciating markets from a year ago. In Phoenix, for example, median sales prices for residential property increased 9 percent annually, down from 30 percent annual price appreciation in April 2013 and the lowest annual price appreciation for the city since March 2012.
In Jacksonville, Fla., median prices increased 4 percent annually in April, down from 17 percent annual price appreciation a year ago and the fourth consecutive month with single-digit annual price appreciation; in Tampa, median prices increased 5 percent annually in April, down from 19 percent annual price appreciation a year ago and the second consecutive month with single-digit home price appreciation.
Miami was the only Florida city to make RealtyTrac's top 10 list for annual home price appreciate, with a year-to-year increase of 20 percent.
Distressed and short sales
Short sales and distressed sales – in foreclosure or bank-owned – accounted for 15.6 percent of all sales in April, down from 16.5 percent of all sales in March, and down from 17.2 percent of all sales in April 2013.
Metro areas with the highest share of combined short sales and distressed sales were Las Vegas (37.7 percent), Stockton, Calif., (33.3 percent), Modesto, Calif., (31.7 percent), Lakeland, Fla., (31.4 percent), Orlando, Fla. (29.3 percent), and Cleveland (27.8 percent).
Short sales nationwide accounted for 5.2 percent of all sales in April, down from 5.5 percent of all sales in March and down from 6.3 percent of all sales in April 2013. Metros with the highest percentage of short sales in April were Orlando, Fla., (14.8 percent), Lakeland, Fla., (14.5 percent), Tampa, Fla., (13.9 percent), Palm Bay, Fla., (13.2 percent), and Las Vegas (11.5 percent).
Sales of bank-owned (REO) properties nationwide accounted for 9.2 percent of all sales in April, down from 9.7 percent of all sales in March, and down from 10 percent of all sales in April 2013.
Sales at public foreclosure auctions accounted for 1.2 percent of all sales nationwide in April, down from 1.3 percent of all sales in March, but still up from 0.8 percent of all sales in April 2013. Metros with the highest percentage of foreclosure auction sales in April included Lakeland, Fla., (5.0 percent), Orlando, Fla., (4.9 percent), Atlanta (3.6 percent), Miami (3.5 percent), Las Vegas (3.2 percent), and Jacksonville, Fla., (3.2 percent).
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