RealtyTrac: Investor demand boosts residential property sales
Residential property sales continued to edge higher in September, as an increase in investor purchases boosted transaction volumes, RealtyTrac reported.
The latest RealtyTrac report, which covers the sale of single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes, found that residential properties sold at an estimated annualized pace of 5.6 million in September, up 2% from August and up 14% from September.
Meanwhile, institutional investors, or firms purchasing 10 or more properties, accounted for 14% of all sales in September, up from 9% in August and also 9% growth from September 2012. September posted the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases of any month since RealtyTrac began tracking the transactions in January 2011.
“The housing market continues to skew in favor of investors, particularly deep-pocketed institutional investors, and other buyers paying with cash,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
In addition, the median sales price of all residential properties – including both distressed and non-distressed – in September was $174,000, up 1% from a revised $172,000 median in August and up 6% from a $164,500 median price the same period a year ago.
The median price of a distressed residential property in foreclosure or bank owned hit $112,000 in September, 41% below the median price of $189,000 for a non-distressed residential property. Distressed sales accounted for 25% of all September sales, rising 18% from all sales a year ago.
“Distressed sales remain persistently high, particularly short sales,” Blomquist said. “Markets with the biggest increases in short sales tend to be those where either foreclosure starts or scheduled foreclosure auctions have rebounded in the last 18 months — translating into more motivated short sellers — or those with a still-high percentage of underwater homeowners with negative equity.”
Focusing on the metro areas with a population of 1 million or more, the places with the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases in September were Atlanta, Las Vegas, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Fla. and Charlotte, N.C.