U.S. Home Sales Rise, All-Cash Deals Reach New High

U.S. Home Sales Rise, All-Cash Deals Reach New High

Residential News » North America Residential News Edition | By Francys Vallecillo | December 20, 2013 8:14 AM ET

U.S home sales increased 10 percent in November, compared to last year, with the share of all-cash sales reaching a new high, according to RealtyTrac.

The number of homes sold -- single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes -- reached an estimated annual pace of 5,146,565 in November, a less than 1 percent increase from October

Although the yearly increase in sales was in the double digits, the pace is slowing. This week, the National Association of Realtors reported the first yearly drop in sales in 29 months. Mortgages rates are expected to further increase in coming months in the wake of the announcement from the Federal Government

Lenders are taking advantage of the housing market environment to unload more of their bank-owned inventory and in-foreclosure inventory at the foreclosure auction, according to RealtyTrac. 

"The housing market recovery continued to be driven by investors and other cash purchasers in November," Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in the report. "But as the backlog of distressed inventory available dries up in many of the markets with the most efficient foreclosure processes -- namely California, Arizona and Nevada, with Georgia not far behind -- overall sales volume is declining and will continue to do so until more non-distressed sellers enter the market."

Home sales dropped from a year ago in four states: California (down 14 percent), Arizona (down 12 percent), Nevada (down 9 percent), and Rhode Island (down 4 percent), RealtyTrac reports. 

All-cash purchases accounted for 42 percent of all home sales in November, increasing from 38.8 percent in October and reaching its highest level since January 2011. 

The national median sales price for all home types -- including both distresses and non-distresses sales -- was $169,000 in November, increasing 1 percent from October and up seven percent from last year, marking the 19th consecutive month of annual median home price increases.

More from the report: 

  • States with the highest percentage of cash sales were Florida (62.7 percent), Georgia (51.3 percent), Nevada (51.0 percent), South Carolina (50.3 percent), and Michigan (49.0 percent).
  • Institutional investor purchases represented 7.7 percent of all residential property sales in November, up from 7.1 percent in October and up from 6.3 percent a year ago.
  • Markets with the highest share of institutional investor purchases included Columbus, Ohio, Phoenix, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Fla., and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Sales of bank-owned homes (REO) accounted for 10.0 percent of all residential property sales in November, up from 9.1 percent in October and 9.4 percent a year ago. November marked the third consecutive month where REO sales increased from the previous month.
  • Metro areas where REO sales accounted for at least 20 percent of all sales and increased from a year ago included Stockton, Calif., Las Vegas, Cleveland, Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., and Phoenix.
  • Sales to third-party investors at the foreclosure auction represented 1.3 percent of all residential property sales in November, up from 0.8 percent of sales in both the previous month and a year ago to the highest level since RealtyTrac began tracking third party foreclosure auction sales in January 2011.
  • Metro areas with the highest share of third party foreclosure auction sales were Miami (4.0 percent), Atlanta (3.9 percent), Jacksonville, Fla. (3.9 percent), Orlando (3.6 percent), and Las Vegas (3.6 percent).
  • Short sales represented 5.6 percent of all residential property sales in November, up from 5.4 percent the previous month but down from 6.5 percent in November 2012.
  • States with the highest percentage of short sales were Nevada (16.6 percent), Florida (14.2 percent), Illinois (8.8 percent), Maryland (8.6 percent) and New Jersey (7.1 percent).
  • Markets with the biggest annual increase in median prices included Detroit (up 39 percent), Sacramento (up 30 percent), Atlanta (up 28 percent), and San Francisco (up 27 percent).

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