Report: Recovery Driven by Cash Buyers, Investors

Report: Recovery Driven by Cash Buyers, Investors

BY: HUGH MOORE

The median sale price for a distressed residential property was $116,000, up one percent from a month ago but down three percent from a year ago, according to the August 2013 U.S. Residential Foreclosure and Sales Report released Thursday by RealtyTrac. The national median sales price for other residential properties was $175,000, up three percent from last month and up six percent from a year ago, making August the 17th consecutive month that home prices have increased annually.

“Seven years after the housing bubble burst, U.S. home prices are clearly on the rise again, up 23 percent from the bottom in March 2012 although still 26 below the peak of the housing price bubble in August 2006,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “This recovery in home prices and sale volume continues to be driven in large part by cash buyers and institutional investors, as evidenced by the increasing share of sales represented by those two categories in August.”

Sales volume increased from the previous month in 39 out of the 42 states tracked in the report and was up from a year ago in 37 states, including Texas, (up 31 percent), Illinois (up 29 percent), Pennsylvania (up 28 percent), Virginia (up 26 percent), and Florida (up 22 percent). Notable exceptions where sales volume decreased from a year ago included California (down 17 percent), Arizona (down 12 percent), Nevada (down 6 percent).

The report also noted that among metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, those with the biggest annual increases in median prices included San Francisco (up 35 percent), Sacramento (up 35 percent), Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California (up 28 percent), Atlanta (up 28 percent), Los Angeles (up 26 percent), Las Vegas (up 26 percent), and Phoenix (up 25 percent).

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