According to RealtyTrac's November 2014 Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report, which shows that the median sales price of U.S. single family homes and condos in November was $190,000, flat with the previous month but up 15 percent from a year. The median sales price of distressed homes -- those in the foreclosure process or bank-owned -- reached a high of $128,625, the highest since December 2009, 35 percent below the median sales price of non-distressed properties, $199,000. Distressed home prices increased at a faster pace, up 18 percent from a year ago while non-distressed home prices were up 14 percent during the same time period.
"As the price of distressed properties reaches a new high the pool of investor activity that has been fueling the housing recovery may dry up," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "However, 20 states still saw annual decreases in distressed property prices so we will continue to see a fragmented recovery as investors move from once hot markets such as Phoenix, Atlanta and many California markets and into markets such as Charlotte, Columbus, Ohio, Dallas and Oklahoma City.
"Thankfully, the increase in first time homebuyers in November (31 percent according to NAR) helped push home prices up slightly with home appreciation on average 6 percent among all metro areas with a population of 500,000 or more," Blomquist added. "We saw strong price appreciation in Rust Belt cities like Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago contrasted with single-digit price appreciation in many coastal California markets, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and the District of Columbia."
The November median sales price -- which included both distressed sales of homes in some stage of foreclosure and non-distressed sales -- was up 35 percent from a trough of $141,000 in March 2012 but still 20 percent below the previous peak of $237,537 in August 2006.
The share of homes priced above $200,000 increased while the share of homes below $200,000 decreased. The biggest increase in share of home sales was in the $500,000 to $1 Million range (up 20 percent). Sales over $1 million were also up 15 percent.
Markets with highest home price appreciation
Among metro areas with a population of 500,000 or more and sufficient home price data, those with the biggest annual increase in median sales price were Detroit, Mich. (up 32 percent), Toledo, Ohio (up 23 percent), Dayton Ohio (up 20 percent), Modesto, Calif. and Lakeland Fla. (both up 18 percent).
"We are finding many home buyers frustrated as we enter the Holiday Season in Ohio," said Michael Mahon, executive vice president at HER Realtors, covering the Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton markets. "With a less than seasonally normal available homes inventory to choose from, coupled with a reduction in available foreclosure inventory, many home buyers are finding themselves in multiple offer situations or unable to find their dream home for the Holidays."
Other major metro areas with double-digit appreciation compared to a year ago included Houston, Texas (up 16 percent), Memphis, Tenn. (up 16 percent), Atlanta, Ga. (up 15 percent), Chicago, Ill. (up 13 percent), Miami, Fla. (up 13 percent) Sarasota, Fla. (up 12 percent), Cincinnati, Ohio (up 11 percent) and Seattle, Wash. (up 11 percent).
"Seattle home prices started the year at an appreciation rate of about 15 percent, but the pace gradually slowed and we expect prices in 2015 to hover between 4-6 percent. We see that as a good thing because if home prices keep appreciating in the double digits for too long, we could run into the same boom/bust market of years past," said OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate, covering the Seattle market. "Buyer demand in Seattle has been incredibly strong this year and we believe this will continue into 2015, but inventory levels, which are at an all-time low right now, should begin to inch up, providing more buyers with a greater selection of homes to choose from."
Markets with accelerating home price appreciation
Home price appreciation accelerated in 42 of the 102 (41 percent) metro areas nationwide with a population of half a million or more and with sufficient home price data.
Markets with the fastest-accelerating appreciation included Dayton, Ohio (20 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 1 percent annual depreciation last year), Akron, Ohio (17 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 3 percent annual depreciation last year), Tulsa, Okla. (8 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 4 percent annual depreciation last year), Augusta-Richmond metro area (15 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 3 percent annual appreciation last year), and Lancaster, Penn. (8 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 3 percent annual depreciation last year).
Other major markets with accelerating home price appreciation were Madison, Wisc. (11 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 3 percent a year ago), Omaha, Nebr. (9 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 1 percent a year ago), Greensboro, N. Car. (8 percent annual appreciation compared to 0 percent a year ago), Cleveland, Ohio (16 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 8 percent a year ago) and Toledo, Ohio (23 percent annual appreciation this year compared to 16 percent a year ago).
Las Vegas, Central California and Florida post highest distressed sale share
Short sales and distressed sales -- in foreclosure or bank-owned -- combined accounted for 12.6 percent of all residential property sales in November, down from 13.7 percent the previous month, and down from 14.8 percent in November 2013.
Metro areas with the highest percentage of distressed and short sales combined were Las Vegas (36.3 percent), Stockton, Calif., (27.6 percent), Miami, Fla. (26.9 percent), Jacksonville, Fla. (25.1 percent) and Modesto, Calif. (25.1 percent).
Short sales share reaches pre-recession levels nationwide, up from a year ago in five states
Short sales accounted for 3.4 percent of all residential property sales in November, down from the previous month and a year ago and below the pre-recession average of 4.5 percent a month in 2006.
Bucking the national trend five states saw an increase in short sales share compared to a year ago, including Rhode Island (3.6 percent compared to 0.1 percent a year ago), West Virginia (2.4 percent compared to 1.0 percent a year ago), Vermont (1.5 percent compared to 0.7 percent a year ago), New Jersey (6.2 percent compared to 5.2 percent a year ago) and Illinois (7.3 percent compared to 7.2 percent a year ago).
Metro areas with the highest percentage of short sales were in Miami, Fla. (11.2 percent), Tampa, Fla. (7.6 percent), Orlando, Fla., (7.6 percent), Chicago, Ill. (7.5 percent), and Las Vegas, Nev. (7.3 percent).
Bank-owned sales share sees slight uptick from the previous month but down from a year ago
Sales of bank-owned properties nationwide accounted for 7.8 percent of all U.S. residential sales in November, up slightly from the previous month but down from 9.0 percent a year ago.
Metro areas with the highest percentage of bank-owned sales were in Las Vegas, Nev. (23.9 percent), Stockton, Calif. (23.6 percent), Modesto, Calif. (21.1 percent), Toledo, Ohio (20.5 percent) and Bakersfield, Calif. (18.2 percent).
Florida has 6 of the top 10 metros for foreclosure auction sales
Sales at the public foreclosure auction accounted for 1.4 percent of all U.S. residential property sales in November, up from 1.3 percent in October and up from 0.9 percent in November 2013.
Metro areas with the highest percentage of sales at foreclosure auction were Lakeland, Fla. (6.3 percent), Las Vegas, Nev. (5.1 percent), Jacksonville, Fla. (4.9 percent), Orlando, Fla. (4.3 percent) and Miami, Fla. (3.5 percent), Cincinnati, Ohio (3.4 percent), Cape Coral, Fla. (3.2 percent), Dayton, Ohio (3.0 percent), Tampa, Fla. (2.9 percent) and Louisville, Kentucky (2.9 percent)
Metro areas with the biggest annual increases in the share of foreclosure auctions were Cincinnati, Ohio (3.4 percent compared to 0.6 percent a year ago), Jacksonville, Fla. (4.9 percent compared to 2.4 percent a year ago), Orlando, Fla. (4.3 percent compared to 2.1 percent a year ago), Lakeland, Fla. (6.3 percent compared to 4.2 percent a year ago) and Louisville, Kentucky (2.9 percent compared to 0.8 percent a year ago).