Although home sales increased nationwide, they dropped on an annual basis for the third consecutive month in three bellwether western states: California (down 15 from a year ago), Arizona (down 13 percent) and Nevada (down 5 percent), RealtyTrac reports.
The market share of short sales dropped to 5.3 percent in October from 6.3 percent the previous month and 11.2 percent last year.
"After a surge in short sales in late 2011 and early 2012, the favored disposition method for distressed properties is shifting back toward the more traditional foreclosure auction sales and bank-owned sales," Daren Blomquist,vice president at RealtyTrac, said in the report. "The combination of rapidly rising home prices -- along with strong demand from institutional investors and other cash buyers able to buy at the public foreclosure auction or an as-is REO home -- means short sales are becoming less favorable for lenders."
The national home median sales price -- including both distressed and non-distressed sales -- was $170,000 in October, unchanged from September but 6 percent higher from last year, representing the 18th consecutive month of yearly increases.
The markets with the largest median home price increases included Detroit (up 38 percent), San Francisco (up 32 percent), Sacramento (up 30 percent), Atlanta (up 30 percent) and Jacksonville, Fla. (up 29 percent).
More from the report:
States with the highest percentage of short sales in October included Nevada (14.2 percent), Florida (13.6 percent), Maryland (8.2 percent), Michigan (6.7 percent), and Illinois (6.2 percent).
Foreclosure auction sales to third parties -- a new category separated out in the report for the first time in October-- represented 2.5 percent of all sales, down from 2.8 percent in the previous month but nearly twice the 1.3 percent in October 2012.
Markets with the highest percentage of foreclosure auction sales included Orlando (8.6 percent), Jacksonville, Fla., (8.6 percent), Columbia, S.C. (8.1 percent), Las Vegas (6.6 percent), Charlotte (6.1 percent), Miami (6.0 percent) and Tampa (5.7 percent).
Cash sales represented 44.2 percent of all residential sales in October, down from a revised 45.0 percent in September but up from 33.9 percent in October 2012.
States with percentage of cash sales above the national average included Florida (65.6 percent), Nevada (55.5 percent), Georgia (55.4 percent), South Carolina (53.9 percent), North Carolina (49.9 percent), Michigan (49.5 percent) and Ohio (49.2 percent).
Institutional investor purchases represented 6.8 percent of all sales in October, a sharp drop from a revised 12.1 percent in September and down from 9.7 percent a year ago.
Markets with the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases included Memphis (25.4 percent), Atlanta (23.0 percent), Jacksonville, Fla., (22.2 percent), Charlotte (14.5 percent) and Milwaukee (12.0 percent).