Housing Data: Some Highs, Some Lows, All Good

by devteam August 27th, 2015 | Share

RealtyTrac’s July U.S. Home Sales report is a tale of extremes.rnJuly sales of properties in foreclosure and all-cash transactions both dippedrnto multi-year lows while home sales for the first six month of 2015 and July homernprices hit seven and eight year highs.</p

There were 1.34 million single familyrnhomes and condos sold in the first six months of the year.  This was the highest number of sales in thernfirst half of any year since 2007.  </p

The median price of a home sold in Julyrnwas $189,500 a 2 percent increase both from June and from July 2014.  It was the highest median price since Septemberrn2008.  </p

Meanwhile the sale of properties soldrnwhile in the process of foreclosure (but not yet REO) fell to 6.4 percent of allrnsingle-family and condo sales from 6.6 percent in June and 8.0 percent a yearrnearlier.  This was the lowest monthlyrnshare since January 2000, the earlier date the information was available.  RealtyTrac does not indicate what is includedrnin this metric but we assume it is both short sales and homes sold atrnforeclosure auction as other sources have put the share of short sales alone belowrn4 percent since mid-2014. </p

All-cash transactions made up 22.6rnpercent of all single family home and condo sales in July, down from 23.7rnpercent in the previous month and from 26.5 percent in July 2014.  This was the lowest percentage of cash salesrnsince July 2008.  At the post-housingrncrisis peak in February 2013 39 percent of sales were all cash. </p

“While the stock market may be on arnroller coaster as of late, the housing market is still on solid ground, withrnthe eight-year low in cash sales combined with the eight-year high in overallrnsales volume in the first half of the year evidence that housing isrnsuccessfully transitioning from an investor-driven recovery to one that isrndrawing in traditional buyers as a good foundation for sustainable growth goingrnforward,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “That’s not tornsay there are no cracks in the foundation of this recovery, the top three ofrnwhich are housing affordability – or lack thereof in some high-flying markets -rnalong with overdependence on capricious cash buyers – both foreign and domesticrn- in some markets, and the persistent overhang of underwater homeowners whorncontinue to represent heightened default risk given any future economicrnshockwaves.”</p


Ten markets out of the 161 analyzedrnreached new home price peaks in July bringing the share of markets that havernsurpassed pre-crash peaks in the last 18 months to 20 percent.  New peaks were established in July for the Denver,rnSan Jose, Columbus (Ohio), Nashville, Raleigh, and Omaha markets.  Also setting new highs were Colorado Springs,rnMadison, Burlington (Vermont), and Boulder, </p

Home sale volume for January throughrnJune was at an eight year high in 124 of the 190 housing market for which datarnwas available and 24 markets recorded 10 years highs.  In four markets, The Villages (Florida),rnLincoln, Pittsburgh, and Denver, sales were the highest since 2000, the firstrnyear for which data was available.</p

While cash sales nationally are almostrndown to half of the recent peak they remain elevated in a number of areas,rnespecially in Florida, home of nine of the ten markets with the highestrnpercentage of such transactions.  Theyrninclude several of the largest cities (Miami, Naples, Sarasota) but also smallerrnmarkets like Sebastian, Homossa Springs, Sebring, Port St. Lucie, Punta Gordo,rnand The Villages.  The cash sales in eachrnof these areas was 47 percent or greater. rnNumber ten for cash sales was the New York City market.</p

Metros with highest share ofrnin-foreclosure properties in July were Salisbury, North Carolina (23.6rnpercent), Rockford (17.1 percent), Morehead City, North Carolina (16.3rnpercent), Baltimore, (16.1 percent), Toledo (15.2 percent) and Chicago (14.7rnpercent). </p

In 61 of the 172 markets analyzed forrnin-foreclosure sales (35 percent), the share of in-foreclosure sales increasedrnfrom a year ago, counter to the national trend. Those markets included Chicago,rnAtlanta, Boston, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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